Vegan Roasted Vegetable “Cheesy” Pasta Bake

Ingredients:

1 courgette, thinly sliced

1 red pepper, roughly chopped into medium sized chunks

1/2 an aubergine, halved lengthways and thinly sliced

100g of black olives, chopped

1 400g tin of chopped tomatoes

a handful of fresh basil

100g of cashew nuts (soaked for 6-8hrs in cold water)

1 red onion, finely diced

1 tbsp of balsamic vinegar

2 tbsps of something sweet (sugar, maple syrup, agave syrup or honey will do the trick)

1 clove of garlic, crushed

juice and rind of one lemon

1 tsp of sweet paprika

250g of corn pasta or normal pasta for a non gluten free option

salt and pepper

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius while you prep the vegetables. Then spread out the sliced peppers, aubergines and courgettes on a baking tray and drizzle with oil. The roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile drain the cashews and place in a food processor with the crushed garlic, a tsp of salt and a drizzle of olive oil. Blend until smooth, adding a little cold water to thin out the consistency.
  3. Rinse the blender and then add the tinned tomatoes, basil, sugar, paprika, lemon juice and rind and the balsamic vinegar. Then pulse until smooth.
  4. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a pan on a medium heat and gently fry the onions until they are softened. Then add the tomato mix from the blender and add the olives. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, adding in the roasted vegetables when they are done.
  5. Boil the pasta in salted water for the prescribed cooking times before draining and mixing through the tomato sauce. Pour the pasta mix into a deep, ceramic baking dish and spread over the cashew cheese topping.
  6. Finally bake in the oven for 20 minutes, until the topping is crisped and golden.

 

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