This baked vegan pizzaiola pasta bake is a mouthwatering and ultra-creamy primo piatto made with simple ingredients. It has three layers of delicious creaminess.
A rich tomato sauce, a smooth homemade béchamel sauce, and a vegan cheese topping that gives a melted umami taste and texture.
- How to get a creamy pasta sauce: creaminess is usually difficult to achieve in vegan cooking - especially if you're a new vegan and you don't really know where to start. Boiling the pasta in the tomato sauce will result in a creamier sauce. This is because the pasta releases starch while boiling, and starch makes the pasta sauce creamy.
- Meal prep: this vegan pizzaiola pasta bake a is perfect for meal prep, or cooking ahead before having guests over for dinner. You can prepare the pasta bake in advance and put it in the oven just before serving. To speed up the preparation, you can even prepare the tomato sauce the day before.
- Wholegrain Sauce: for a wholegrain béchamel alternative, see our recipe for vegan béchamel sauce and sneak in some additional fibre. In addition, you can choose wholegrain pasta for a healthier overall meal.
This vegan pizzaiola pasta bake can be stored in the fridge with a piece of foil or an air-tight lid on top for 2 days. It should always be re-heated in the oven before serving.
Vegan pizzaiola pasta bake
- 250 g (9 oz) uncooked fusilli pasta, or penne
- 100 g (3.5 oz) meltable vegan cheese
- 10 leaves fresh basil
- 250 g (1 cup) soy milk
- 25 g (2 tbsp) vegetable butter
- 25 g (2 tbsp) all purpose flour
- ½ tsp nutmeg, grated
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic
- 500 g (17.5 oz) canned peeled tomatoes
- 1 scant tbsp dried oregano
- 4 tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- Heat the milk with a sprinkling of nutmeg. Set aside.
- Melt the butter in a saucepan then add the flour and stir (this is the roux).
- Cook the roux over medium heat for 1 minute, then add the hot milk and a pinch of salt, and continue stirring until the sauce becomes creamy and lump-free.
- Remove from the heat and let cool, stirring occasionally to prevent it from lumping up.
- Thinly slice the garlic
- In a frying pan suitable for baking crush the peeled tomatoes with a fork
- Add the the finely sliced garlic, oil, pepper, salt and oregano and mix well
- Bring the tomato sauce to a boil, add the fusilli in the same tomato sauce and leave to cook for 10 minutes, stirring regularly and adding 1 cup of water. This type of cooking makes the pasta creamy thanks to the high concentration of starch that falls into the sauce
- After about 10 minutes turn off the heat and incorporate the béchamel with the pasta stirring gently. At this point adjust the salt
- Cover the pasta with meltable vegan cheese and bake in the oven for 5 minutes at 200˚C leaving the cheese to gratin well
- Before serving, let the pasta rest for 10 minutes, add a few basil leaves and a drizzle of good quality extra virgin olive oil
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