Layered tofu pasta bake
Add tofu to this healthy vegan pasta bake to enjoy a valuable source of plant protein. It's also packed with spinach, carrots, celery and olives
- Serves: 4 persons
- 3tbsp rapeseed oil
- 150g celery, finely chopped
- 320g carrots, finely chopped
- 3garlic cloves, chopped
- 2tsp thyme leaves
- 1tbsp smoked paprika
- 400g can chopped tomatoes
- 2tbsp tomato purée
- 800ml hot vegetable stock, made with 2 tsp vegetable bouillon powder
- 250g wholemeal penne
- 30g basil, chopped, plus a handful of small leaves
- 500g frozen spinach
- 2x 250g packs silken tofu
- 1lemon, juiced
- 4tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
- 12pitted green olives, halved
Step 1Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat and fry the celery and carrots for 10 mins, stirring frequently until golden. Stir in the garlic, thyme and paprika, stir well, then tip in the tomatoes, tomato purée and stock, and bring to the boil. Tip in the penne, return to the boil, then reduce the heat and cook for 12 mins until the penne is tender. Stir in the chopped basil.
Step 2Tip the spinach into a heatproof bowl and microwave for 5 mins on high until defrosted. Meanwhile, mash the tofu with the lemon juice and nutritional yeast. Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.
Step 3Squeeze as much liquid as you can from the defrosted spinach, then arrange in the base of a large, shallow ovenproof dish. Spoon half the pasta mixture on top, then cover with the tofu mixture, followed by the rest of the pasta. Bake for 15-20 mins until bubbling at the edges, then scatter over the olives and remaining basil leaves. Serve half the pasta bake between two people. Cool and chill the rest to eat another day. To serve, reheat on plates in the microwave until piping hot. Will keep chilled for up to four days.