This dish has many names and many forms: Spaghetti Casserole, Spaghetti Bake, Noodle Pie, etc. But I like to think of it as Lazy Lasagna, because it tastes a lot like lasagna, but you don’t have to fight with those huge crazy noodles. Or worry about layer after layer of application. It’s just a couple simple steps, a lot of dirty dishes, and then you’ve got 8 servings of heaven!
- 8oz (dry) spaghetti noodles
- 14 oz block of firm tofu
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 T dehydrated onion
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
- 1/4 cup fresh italian parsley
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup unmilk
- 2 T lemon juice
- 1/2 head cauliflower (or about 2 cups), cut into florets
- 1 recipe of Mushroom Marinara sauce
- 1/3 cup shredded vegan mozzarella cheese (optional)
For the filling:
First, preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Put the cauliflower on a cookie sheet and spray with cooking spray. Roast until tender. Now, start a large pot of water boiling on high. Cook your pasta according to directions, drain, and set aside. In your food processor, combine tofu, nutritional yeast, spices, onion, lemon juice and 1/4 cup unmilk. Blend until creamy. If your processor is on the large side, just add the cooled cauliflower to this mix, with the fresh basil and parsley. (If it’s small, pour out the tofu mixture and add in the cauliflower. You can blend them together by hand after pureeing everything.) Add unmilk in small doses if cauliflower/tofu seems really dry. You’re looking to get the texture of a moist ricotta cheese. Taste for salt, and add pepper if needed.
Now, mix the cauliflower and tofu with the noodles. Make sure to get them really mixed together well, or you’ll have dry patches of just noodles, and wet patches of just “cheese.”
Layer a small amount of the marinara sauce on the bottom of a 13×9 casserole dish. Then, pour the noodle filling over that. Pour the rest of the sauce over the top, smooth to make it even. Sprinkle on vegan cheese, if using.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, or until very bubbly around the edges, and hot all the way through. Let cool for 5 to 10 minutes before eating. You may need to salt and pepper it again before serving, since this dish is weird and seems to require more salt than you would think possible.
This recipe is wonderful to make changes to–there is so much opportunity for variety! I think a pesto version would be amazing, or with zucchini, eggplant, you name it. I’m excited to see what you come up with! Oh, and I should tell you: it tastes a lot better the next day. Great make-ahead meal.