This luxuriously creamy pasta bake is one of our favourite recipes to whip up for a quick (but nonetheless delicious) weeknight meal. We like to buck tradition and use rigatoni instead of macaroni (you may wish to stick to the latter as a traditionalist!) as their ridges are perfect for capturing every last morsel of sauce. Our pangrattato topping on the other hand offers an indulgent crunch with every bite. The final result is irresistible, and we invite you to close your eyes and delve in for a sensory journey through the Alpine climes of Piedmont, curled up by the fire with your favourite bowl of warming pasta.
How to make our vegan pasta bake
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Calories per serving: 558 kcal
- 1 cauliflower head
- 70g raw cashews
- 5-6 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- 1 1/2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- a sprinkle of salt (to taste)
- 470 ml plant-based milk (e.g. soy, rice, almond, cashew, oat)
- freshly cracked black pepper (to taste)
- 1 pinch freshly ground nutmeg (optional)
- 450g rigatoni or macaroni
- 100g breadcrumbs
Put a large pot of water on to boil, and preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
Wash cauliflower and trim off outer leaves. Cut the cauliflower and place its florets in the pot of boiling water. Add the cashews and cook for around 10 minutes, or until they become soft.
While the cauliflower and cashews are cooking, heat a frying pan over a medium heat and fry the chopped garlic until golden, but not brown.
Using a sieve, remove the cauliflower and cashews from the water and place in a blender or food processor. Add the garlic and all other remaining ingredients (except the pasta and breadcrumbs, or pangrattato) and process until it creates a thick, creamy sauce. Season to taste.
Bring another large pot of water to the boil, making sure to add a generous amount of salt when it begins bubbling.
Add the pasta into the boiling water, and cook according to packet instructions.
Strain the pasta as soon as it is al dente and add to a casserole dish or deep baking tray. Add the sauce and mix well to ensure that all of the pasta is evenly coated. Using your hands, scatter the breadcrumbs over the top. Bake the dish in a 180 degree oven for 15-20 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let cool for 20-30 minutes.
Enjoy and devour while still hot. Buon appetito!