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Pasta bake in a baking dish but with tomato sauce in a jar
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Vegan Pasta Bake

Learn how to make the best vegan pasta bake with melt in your mouth cheese
Course Dinner
Cuisine American, Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 642kcal
Author Charla

Ingredients

  • 1lb gluten free fusilli pasta (500g)
  • 1 cup of dairy free cheese more if needed
  • 1 large can of chopped plum tomato
  • ½ cup of passata add ½ cup more if needed
  • 2 celery stalks chopped
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 cup of mix bell peppers chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves chopped
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 2 tsp thyme
  • 2 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp himalayan pink salt
  • 2 tbsp olive or coconut oil

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 180c/350F/Gas mark 4
  • Add the oil to a large frying pan or skillet, over medium heat.
  • Proceed to saute the onion and garlic until soft and translucent
  • Add the celery and mixed bell peppers and cook for 2-3 minutes
  • Once the veggies are soft, pour the passata and chopped tomatoes into the pan and fold the vegetables into the tomato sauce.
  • Let the tomatoes sauce heat through for 2 minutes before adding the bay leaves and herbs then stir all of the ingredients together.
  • Reduce the heat to low and allow to simmer for approximately 10 minutes (15-20 if you want more depth in flavour). Add more passata if the sauce starts to recede if cooking for longer.
  • Once cooked, remove from the stove and set aside to cool down then discard the bay leaves.
  • Pour the mixture into a high speed blender and puree into a smooth sauce.
  • Bring a saucepan with water and fusilli to the boil, make sure to stir and/or move a slotted spoon in a back and forth motion. Once the pot has boiled reduce the heat and cook the pasta to slightly firm (al dente) Around 3-4 minutes, start testing the pasta at 30 -1 minute intervals until it is firm but not crunchy.
  • Drain off the water (use a colander if needed)
  • Pour the sauce onto the fusilli and fold really combine both the sauce and fusilli together.
  • Top the pasta with cheese, spreading evenly, use more cheese if needed
  • Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes until cheese is slightly golden.

Notes

  • Baking dish size. A dish approximately 26cm (12 inches) should suffice the recipe. Alternatively, you can use 2 smaller sized dishes
  • Simmering the sauce. The sauce becomes more flavourful and rich as it simmers for awhile so the longer you cook it the better the taste, you may need to add more passata if the sauce recede when simmering for awhile.
  • Make sure the pasta is al dente, it should be firm but not crunchy. Around 3-4 minutes, start testing the pasta at 30 -1 minute intervals until it is firm but not crunchy.
  • Drain off the pasta thoroughly. This is important to avoid a pool of water in your casserole dish. Use a colander or strainer if needed to rid the excess water.
  • The amount of cheese needed is subjective . This all depends  on your baking dish, a deep circular pyrex dish may require less cheese that a rectangular dish. 
  • Use a immersion sticker blender or blender to puree the sauce. You will need a tools that is powerful due to the chunkiness of the sauce. Don't be afraid to add a little more passata or a splash of water to help the sauce break down.
  • Discard the bay leaves before pureeing the sauce in the blender.
  • Blend the sauce in batches. You may have to puree the tomato sauce in batches depending on the size of your blender.
  • Any sauce that is leftover can be placed in a freezer friendly container and frozen. Just thaw out before re-using it.
  • Evenly distribute the sauce by pushing down and folding it into the pasta. This will ensure that each piece of pasta is fully coated and flavorsome.
  • Serving size. This recipe serves 4-6 people.

Nutrition

Calories: 642kcal | Carbohydrates: 112g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Sodium: 1091mg | Potassium: 471mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 1510IU | Vitamin C: 65mg | Calcium: 90mg | Iron: 4mg