Sustainable Plant-Based Food for Special Events

Cooking Green Recipe

Roasted Vegetables, Spinach, Tofu, and Penne

Kay Bushnell

Lay out ingredients ahead, and preparation will be easy. Dairy-free Daiya “cheese” tastes and melts like dairy cheese but is made of tapioca and/or arrowroot flours.

Set out:

A deep 3- or 4-quart ovenproof baking dish.

12-oz pkg. penne pasta (wheat or rice), cooked according to package directions until barely tender 20-25 oz. jar 100% plant-based pasta sauce such as Whole Foods’ “365 Classic Organic Pasta Sauce”

1 c.grated Daiya mozzarella “cheese” or other plant-based cheese
1 c.jarred roasted red peppers, drained and cut into thin 1” strips
Roasted Vegetables:
2zucchini, sliced in 1/2” rounds
2medium onions, peeled and sliced in half, then each half sliced into 1/4” half-rounds
1slender eggplant cut into 1/2” rounds
1/2 t.salt
1/4 t.pepper

Set oven at 450°. Lay zucchini, onion, and eggplant slices on a baking sheet covered with baking parchment. Lightly spray olive oil or use a small brush to dab them lightly with olive oil. Then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place baking sheet with zucchini, onion, and eggplant in the 450° oven for 10-12 minutes. Then reduce oven heat to 375°, and continue roasting the vegetables until they are tender but not overly dry, about 25 minutes. (Test with a fork.) Keep oven on at 375°.

Spinach and Tofu mixture:

Combine in a medium bowl:

1 c.      firm tofu (about 6-8 oz.), mashed with a fork
10-oz pkg. frozen spinach, thawed with liquid squeezed out
1/3 c.  dairy-free Parmesan cheese such as “Parma! Vegan Parmesan”

Place casserole dish, penne, sauce, mock mozzarella, red peppers, roasted vegetables, and tofu-spinach mixture in front of you, ready to assemble into 4 layers:

Layer 1 Cover bottom of the baking dish with a little pasta sauce, then 1/3 of the penne. Cover the penne with a thin layer of pasta sauce.

Layer 2 1/2 c. roasted peppers, 1/2 the roasted zucchini, onion, and eggplant slices, 1/2 the tofu-spinach mixture, 1/2 c. mock mozzarella, and 1 c. pasta sauce

Layer 3 1/3 of the penne; 1 c. pasta sauce; the remaining 1/2 c. roasted peppers; the remaining roasted zucchini, onion, and eggplant slices; the remaining 1/2 of tofu-spinach mixture; and the remaining 1/2 c. mozzarella

Layer 4 1/3 of the penne, and all remaining sauce spread over the top

With a large spoon, dig down a little, and gently turn over some of the layers below so little bits of spinach and roasted vegetables show through on the top. The top should have a slightly tumbled look, like freshly plowed earth.

Lay a sheet of baking parchment over the top of the casserole, and cover it with foil, crimping the foil’s edges tightly. Bake 45-50 minutes in the pre-heated 375° oven.

Copyright, Kay Bushnell