Baked pasta dish for a hearty dinner on Meatless Monday

Baked pasta dish for a hearty dinner on Meatless Monday

Many of us made New Year's resolutions to eat healthier, more nutritious food -- but at this time of the year, the most appealing foods are often the stick-to-your-ribs kind that provide fuel to power through the colder weather. But this baked pasta is the best of both worlds: nutritious and filling. Adapted from Forks Over Knives: The Cookbook, we added some oil and tweaked amounts for your cheesy (dairy-free!) baked-pasta pleasure.

See also: - White beans and kale with parsnips on Meatless Monday - Southwestern-style quinoa salad for a lunchtime protein punch on Meatless Monday - Baba ghanouj wraps with marinated tomatoes on Meatless Monday

Baked pasta dish for a hearty dinner on Meatless Monday

You will need: 4 medium onions 1 medium red bell pepper 3 tablespoons cashews 1 tablespoon tahini 1 cup nutritional yeast 4 cloves garlic 1 tablespoon oregano 6-7 tablespoons olive oil 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes (with basil, preferably) 1 pound whole-grain pasta -- ziti or rotini work nicely Salt and black pepper to taste

Baked pasta dish for a hearty dinner on Meatless Monday

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and bring a large pot of water to a boil.

Baked pasta dish for a hearty dinner on Meatless Monday

Place the cashews on a baking sheet.

Baked pasta dish for a hearty dinner on Meatless Monday

Toast in the oven for 5 minutes. Turn the heat up to 375 degrees F when finished.

Baked pasta dish for a hearty dinner on Meatless Monday

2. Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.

Baked pasta dish for a hearty dinner on Meatless Monday

Coarsely chop two of the medium onions and add to the oil. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or so, until onions are soft.

Baked pasta dish for a hearty dinner on Meatless Monday

While the onions cook, coarsely chop the pepper.

Baked pasta dish for a hearty dinner on Meatless Monday

The onions will be soft and translucent when finished. Put them in a blender.

Baked pasta dish for a hearty dinner on Meatless Monday

3. Puree the onions in the blender. (Don't wash that saucepan, we'll use it again in a minute.)

Baked pasta dish for a hearty dinner on Meatless Monday

Add the chopped-up bell pepper to the blender.

Baked pasta dish for a hearty dinner on Meatless Monday

Puree until smooth.

Baked pasta dish for a hearty dinner on Meatless Monday

Add the cashews and the tahini.

Baked pasta dish for a hearty dinner on Meatless Monday

Blend.

Baked pasta dish for a hearty dinner on Meatless Monday

Add the nutritional yeast and the salt.

Baked pasta dish for a hearty dinner on Meatless Monday

Puree until smooth and set the sauce aside. (Is your water boiling yet? Add the noodles to it and boil until barely al dente -- you want them to be firm, as they will continue to cook in the oven.)

Baked pasta dish for a hearty dinner on Meatless Monday

4. Heat the remaining oil in the saucepan and chop the remaining two onions (more finely this time).

Baked pasta dish for a hearty dinner on Meatless Monday

Peel the garlic.

Baked pasta dish for a hearty dinner on Meatless Monday

Cook the onion in the heated oil for seven minutes or so.

Baked pasta dish for a hearty dinner on Meatless Monday

When the noodles finish cooking, drain and set aside.

Baked pasta dish for a hearty dinner on Meatless Monday

Add the oregano and garlic to the onion.

Baked pasta dish for a hearty dinner on Meatless Monday

Stir and cook for another minute.

Baked pasta dish for a hearty dinner on Meatless Monday

Add the tomatoes. Stir and cook for another five minutes or so.

Baked pasta dish for a hearty dinner on Meatless Monday

Add the noodles and mix until combined with the tomato sauce.

Baked pasta dish for a hearty dinner on Meatless Monday

5. Spoon the noodles into your baking dish.

Baked pasta dish for a hearty dinner on Meatless Monday

Pour the mock-cheese sauce over the top.

Baked pasta dish for a hearty dinner on Meatless Monday

Bake for 25-30 minutes, until bubbly.

Baked pasta dish for a hearty dinner on Meatless Monday

Serve with a salad and garlic bread or just as is!


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