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Baked Spaghetti with Cashew Cheese

Remember earlier in the week when I told you to save some of that cashew cheese for today? Now you know why πŸ™‚

This casserole is unbelievably yummy. On the bottom, there’s spaghetti tossed with a homemade stew-like tomato sauce. On the top, it’s sealed with a layer of rich cashew cheese and topped with sliced Roma tomatoes. All of this is baked until the cashew cheese is browned and the flavors have reached a whole new level of awesome.

It’s not quite a 15-minute meal, but if you make the cashew cheese ahead of time, you can throw it together in under 40 minutes and get two full dinners out of it – the leftovers are amazing.

Baked_Spaghetti

Makes 6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 white onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • salt & pepper (to taste)
  • 1 cup crimini mushrooms
  • 1 14.5 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 2 handfuls fresh basil
  • 1 16 oz package spaghetti
  • 1 1/2 cups cashew cheese
  • 3 roma tomatoes

Baked_Spaghetti_Slice

Before getting started, prepare some of that cashew cheese I posted earlier in the week. You can make this just before preparing the dish, or up to 5 days in advance. You’ll need about 1 1/2 cups to cover the spaghetti. Recipe: http://www.oneingredientchef.com/cashew-cheese/

The Sauce

While you *could* use any ol’ pasta sauce here, I love this homemade version that I created specifically for this recipe. It’s thick and chunky and packed with veggies that create a wonderful stew-like consistency which works especially well in this dish. Here’s how to make it:

Prepare the vegetables. Dice the onion, mince the garlic, chop the bell pepper, and loosely chop the mushrooms.

Warm a tablespoon of olive oil in a large saucepan and add the onion, garlic, and bell pepper along with a little salt and pepper. Allow these to cook until the onions start to turn translucent.

Then, add the mushrooms, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes (including juice), red wine, and half of the basil (just tear the leaves into small chunks with your hands. Let simmer uncovered for 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes, continue to simmer while boiling a pot of water for the spaghetti. Cook the pasta according to package instructions, drain, and return to the pot.

Give the pasta sauce a taste and adjust any seasonings as necessary. Then, pour it over the spaghetti along with another handful of torn basil leaves. Toss the pasta with the sauce and move on to the assembly stage…

Assembly

Preheat the oven to 350ΒΊ F.

Find a deep 9 x 13 baking pan and pour in pasta & sauce, using a spatula to press the pasta evenly across the pan.

Using a large spoon and/or knife, carefully spread the cashew cheese into a thin and even coating along the top of the pasta. Be gentle and try not to mix the pasta sauce into the cashew cheese too much.

Slice 2-3 roma tomato very thinly and add them in a nice pattern (I did 4 rows of three) across the top.

Spaghetti-Steps

Finally, place the dish in a 350ΒΊ F oven and bake for about 30 minutes, removing when the cashew cheese becomes firm and slightly browned. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before attempting to cut and serve.

The leftovers (there will be a lot of leftovers) can be refrigerated in a covered container for up to three days, and they make excellent lunches throughout the week.

Baked_Spaghetti_Top

17 Comments

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    • Thanks, Becky! Ahh, I’m always afraid of brown rice pasta turning soggy under normal circumstances, it might be even worse here. I don’t have enough experience to say for sure though… You could give it a shot? πŸ™‚

      • Thank you for this yummy recipe, Andrew! It looks like great & healthy comfort food! Becky, I’m a Celiac & have to be gluten-free, too. My best guesses are the gluten-free pasta that’s a quinoa & brown rice duo (not to be confused with the gluten-free multi-grain one that has tons of things including those as that has fallen apart on me) & inspired by Jess’ post: spaghetti squash!

        • Oops, I wish there was an edit/do-over, here :0). Somehow I thought Jess just said squash but she did specify spaghetti squash, so please pretend I said here’s my idea & also listen to Jess ;0)!

    • I think the quinoa-corn blend pastas, and even tink-joy brown rice pastas will work, and are worth a try. I have baked these many times with good results. Just don’t overdo the initial boil.

  1. This sounds amazing! I think I will try it with spaghetti squash since we don’t do grains. I’m thinking I will make sure to drain the water from it in case it might get a bit soggy. I’m hoping your cheese changes my life, because I’m not a fan of the Daiya cheese that’s out there. Thanks for all the yummy dairy-free recipes!

  2. This looks delicious but I have a question. I am in recovery so I don’t feel comfortable cooking with alcohol. Is there a substitute I could use for the red wine?

    • Definitely! In this case, omitting the wine won’t change the recipe too much. You could just add a little extra of the tomato sauce or even just a few more veggies plus a little extra water. Pasta sauces are flexible πŸ™‚

  3. Hi Andrew,
    Thank you for this great recipe!
    Do you think it will still come out as good if I blend the tomato sauce before mixing with the pasta? My 3 year old won’t eat chuncky sauce. I need to make it more “picky eater” friendly πŸ˜‰

    • I really like that idea, Orly! In fact, I partially pureed the diced tomatoes in mine, as I like sauces that are a little smoother. In the end, it didn’t make enough of a difference to add another step to the recipe, but either way will work.

  4. Oh this was delicious! Thank you Andrew. And thank you Jess for the suggestion of using spaghetti squash because that’s just what I did. I’m going to make this again for sure. Maybe layer the sauce with thinly sliced summer squash and eggplant? My mind is exploding.

    As a side note – I keep cashews that have been soaked overnight and drained in the freezer. I don’t have to soak them again to get that smooth creamy texture they provide and they’re ready whenever the mood strikes. Have you tried this method Andrew? It works for me.

    I’m really liking your new website. It’s gorgeous.

    • That’s fantastic Sabine!! I’m really happy you liked it and thanks so much for taking the time to report back your experiences. Yes, those ideas sound amazing. There’s so many variations of this dish with different veggies. Oh, I’ve never tried soaking the cashews and then freezing them… that sounds very convenient – I’ll give it a shot! πŸ™‚

  5. Thank you so much for posting this. We had it tonight, and it was so good – cheesy, wonderful pasta goodness that’s easier to assemble than lasagna but just as good to eat. I didn’t have any red wine on hand so I skipped it (since you mentioned in an earlier comment that it isn’t essential to the dish), and I didn’t miss it, for what it’s worth. Thanks again!

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