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5 September 2015

Hidden Veg Pasta Bake


Hidden Veg Pasta Bake
Hidden veg sauces are usually served when you have fussy kids who refuse to eat veg, they also work well when you have a carnivore of a brother who hates veg and is coming round for tea with two vegans - did I mention that he's 21? Anyway, I made this pasta dish, equipped with the hidden veg sauce, soy mince and potato carrot cheese for dinner and he absolutely loved it. It was also probably the first meal he'd eaten that was made completely from scratch in a while and he was asking if I could make him more food, which I'd definitely call a success!
Hidden Veg Pasta Bake
My brother and I are complete opposites when it comes to food, when we were kids you could almost split a plate down the middle for the both of us; he would eat the meat and I would eat the veg, one thing we would both agree on were the carbs. With me being at uni and my brother working full time we don't see each other very often, but when we do it's like nothing's changed and we fall into the same brother-sister routine of harmless squabbling and disagreeing on absolutely everything, but that's normal for us!
Hidden Veg Pasta Bake
For this dish I made up a batch of the sauce with mince and also made up a batch of mac 'n' cheese and then layered these up in a casserole dish for the ultimate pasta bake, full of goodness, making it a great family meal at around £1 per portion! I absolutely love this cheese sauce and seem to be putting it on everything lately, the sauces in the pasta bake mixed together whilst in the oven to produce an extremely satisfying taste with layers of flavour. I used some cheese sauce that was frozen and then defrosted for this dish, the potato carrot cheese is suitable to freeze but you will need to blend it back up to restore the smooth consistency before using it. The pasta bake itself can also be frozen, but the pasta may be slightly softer, rather than al dente, after freezing, defrosting and cooking again.
Hidden Veg Pasta Bake | Serves: 6-7 | Time: 40 mins

You'll need:

  • 2 large saucepans
  • 1 casserole dish
  • Chopping board
  • Knife
  • Blender

Ingredients:

Bolognese Sauce:

  • 1 red onion
  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • 2 large carrots
  • 400ml passata
  • 400g whole tinned tomatoes
  • 1 pack frozen soy mince
  • 250g mushrooms
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar/balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • salt & pepper

Mac 'n' cheese:

  • 500g spirali pasta
  • 2 large baking potatoes 
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1-2 tsp white miso (optional)
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Method:

For the mac 'n' cheese:
  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Peel and chop the potatoes & carrots, boil for 15 minutes, then drain. Add to the blender with the rest of the ingredients and blitz until smooth. Then cook the pasta for 5-7 minutes and stir 2/3 of the sauce into the pasta.
Bolognese sauce:
  1. Peel and chop the onion, thinly slice the carrot and add these to a large saucepan with a splash of oil, sauté on a medium heat for 5 minutes, then add the garlic and mushrooms and cook for a further 5 minutes. Add the mixture to the blender with 400ml of passata and a tbsp of cider vinegar. Then add back to the pan, add a tin of good quality tomatoes, soy mince, salt and pepper and simmer for 5-10 minutes, until warmed through.
  2. To make the pasta bake, spoon alternating layers of the sauce and pasta into the casserole dish, top with the rest of the cheese sauce and bake for 15 minutes at 200°C. Then serve up and enjoy! 
Cassidy xx

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