Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Tasty Tuesday - Spinach and Cannellini Bean Pasta Bake

After yesterday's way-to-deep-for-a-Monday post, I thought I'd make today's post much lighter and simpler, kind of light this recipe. I'm rather liking Tasty Tuesdays actually. Kind of keeps me inspired to be creative in the kitchen again.

We haven't been to the grocery store in a little over a week now. That means fresh veggies are pretty low and the pantry is starting to get a little more bare than usual too. Jason has this thing for casseroles and baked dishes. I decided to just work with that as a starting point for dinner.

I had rotini, frozen spinach, some tomato sauce and silken tofu. I thought I'd make a fast, creamy pasta sauce with the tofu. Love using silken tofu to make a "cream" style sauce. It works so well plus it's an added boost of protein.

Now, if you can't do soy, you can always use a cashew cream, coconut or almond milk instead. It'll just make for a slightly looser sauce, but shouldn't affect flavors much. Feel free to omit the beans or sub them with a bean you prefer best. I think lentils might be nice with this dish too.

Spinach & Cannellini Bean Pasta Bake
Ingredients:
1/2 package silken tofu
1 15 oz can tomato sauce
7-8 sundried tomatoes, re-hydrated and chopped
2-3 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
To taste: salt, pepper, red chili flakes, basil, parsley
1 can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 packages frozen spinach, thawed and well drained
6 oz whole-wheat rotini (or pasta of choice), cooked per package directions
Daiya Vegan Cheese (or cheese of choice)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a food processor, puree the tofu, tomato sauce, sundried tomatoes, nutritional yeast flakes, seasonings. If you feel like your sauce is too thick, add in a splash of almond milk or white wine.

In a large bowl, toss together pasta, sauce, spinach, and beans. Then transfer to a prepared baking dish. Top cheese and bake for approximately 20-25 minutes.


The great thing about this dish, besides the flavor, is that it's really quick to throw together. And if you didn't want to take the time to bake it, you could just heat up the sauce in the microwave or in a saucepan. Even easier right?

I think the next time I try this one, I'll add in a little more liquid to the sauce. But I loved how the sundried tomatoes gave the dish a hint of a feta taste. You could easily omit any "cheese" because of that tang.