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Penne Pasta Casserole

Penne Pasta Casserole
Penne Pasta Casserole

This casserole was delicious, filling and perfect for a cold wintery evening.



  • 250g penne pasta
  • 1 aubergine (diced into 1 inch cubes)
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 red onion (diced)
  • 3 cloves of garlic (minced)
  • 1 red chilli (finely chopped)
  • 1 x 400g tinned tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • A pinch of black pepper
  • 3 cups of baby spinach leaves
  • 1 cup of fresh basil leaves

Cashew Cream

  • 1 cup cashews (soaked)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 lemon (juice)
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast

To Garnish

  • 1/2 cup pine nuts (crushed)
  • 1 tbsp fresh oregano (optional)
  • Zest of 1 lemon


  1. 1.

    Cook the penne for 5-7 minutes. It still needs to be relatively firm as it will be baked later on.

  2. 2.

    Spread the diced aubergine out on a baking tray and drizzle the 1 tbsp olive oil over. Sprinkle with salt and bake in the oven at 200C for 15-20 mins

  3. 3.

    Add the 1 tbsp olive oil to a large frying pan on a medium heat. Add the diced onion and cook for 5-8 mins.

  4. 4.

    Add the crushed garlic and chilli and cook for a further 3 minutes.

  5. 5.

    Pour in the chopped tomatoes, water, red wine vinegar, oregano, basil, thyme, salt and pepper. Simmer gently for 10 minutes.

  6. 6.

    Put all the ingredients for the cashew cream in a food processor and blend until smooth.

  7. 7.

    In a large bowl mix the tomato sauce into the pasta. Add the spinach and fresh basil and stir until it combines.

  8. 8.

    Spread into a large baking pan and dollop the cashew cheese at random places on top. Using a knife spread it around to create a marble effect.

  9. 9.

    Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes at 180C.

  10. 10.

    Remove the foil and bake for a further 10 minutes.

  11. 11.

    Garnish with crushed pinenuts, chopped oregano and lemon rind. Serve with rocket or a green salad.