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
- 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
- PREHEAT THE OVEN TO 180C/355F
- First, soak the TVP. Dissolve the marmite in the boiling water, and pour it over the TVP flakes. Leave aside for 15 minutes.
- In a pan, fry the onion and garlic until softened. Season with salt and pepper, and add in the basil and oregano.
- Stir through the tomato puree and chopped tomatoes, and leave to cook for 5 minutes, adding extra water to thin if needed.
- Stir the soaked TVP through the tomato sauce mixture.
- 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.
- Season the sauce with salt and pepper, and stir through the teaspoon of mustard.
- Stir the pasta into the bolognese sauce, mix well, and then pour it into an ovenproof dish.
- Pour the white sauce over the pasta. Top with vegan cheese if you like, but I didn’t and it was still nice!
- Place in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.
- Remove, and serve! I like to serve with peas.