Bolognese Pasta Bake

It’s getting cold. Winter is well and truly on its way. I always say that once my birthday is over, Christmas can begin, and since that was earlier this week, I can now get into the winter/Christmas spirit!

So it’s time for nice, warming foods. Ones that don’t really take much effort. Lasagne is one of my favourite winter foods (and I have a great recipe for it!) but doing all that layering? Sauce, pasta, other sauce, etc…ugh. Sometimes you just can’t be bothered. And this recipe is kind of like a lasagne, only without all the fiddly bits. It has the pasta, the white sauce, and the bolognese sauce. And it’s just as delicious, for much less effort!

I used TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein) for the mince in this, because I find it’s easy to use and you can make it take on whatever flavour you like! You have to pre-soak it for 15 minutes, and I did this in a mixture of marmite and hot water, leading to a super delicious mince mixture.

The rest of the sauce is just a basic tomato sauce with onions and garlic, and I mixed through the cooked pasta.

I made a very simple white sauce for the topping – melted Vitalite butter (use whatever you have, or even oil if you wish) with flour mixed in, then almond milk gradually stirred through to create a thick sauce. Spread the sauce over the pasta, pop it in the oven, and it comes out absolutely delicious!

Bolognese Pasta Bake


Ingredients

  • 180g pasta, cooked
  • 35g TVP flakes
  • 150ml boiling water
  • 1 tsp marmite (use vegetable stock powder if you don’t have marmite)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp butter substitute
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 250ml milk of choice
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • Salt & Pepper

Directions

    PREHEAT THE OVEN TO 180C/355F
  1. First, soak the TVP. Dissolve the marmite in the boiling water, and pour it over the TVP flakes. Leave aside for 15 minutes.
  2. In a pan, fry the onion and garlic until softened. Season with salt and pepper, and add in the basil and oregano.
  3. Stir through the tomato puree and chopped tomatoes, and leave to cook for 5 minutes, adding extra water to thin if needed.
  4. Stir the soaked TVP through the tomato sauce mixture.
  5. Meanwhile, make the white sauce. In a saucepan, melt the butter, and stir through the flour. Cook for 30 seconds on the heat, stirring constantly, and then gradually pour in the milk, until you get a thick sauce.
  6. Season the sauce with salt and pepper, and stir through the teaspoon of mustard.
  7. Stir the pasta into the bolognese sauce, mix well, and then pour it into an ovenproof dish.
  8. Pour the white sauce over the pasta. Top with vegan cheese if you like, but I didn’t and it was still nice!
  9. Place in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.
  10. Remove, and serve! I like to serve with peas.
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