Servings: 4 portions
  • 9 oz any short pasta of your preference
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 2 tbsp freshly chopped parsley
  • 2 tbsp freshly chopped mint
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 12 oz soy protein crumbles
  • 8 oz shredded vegan mozzarella
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Prepared all over the Mediterranean area, there are multiple versions of this dish. Comforting, creamy, and delicious! It is a baked pasta dish consisting of one layer of Italian ragù (meat sauce), cheesy bechamel sauce, and pasta. I veganized the bechamel to be made with olive oil, and it turned out to be the best bechamel I have ever had in my life – I feel I hit the jackpot with it. The consistency of this bechamel sauce is perfect to go to the oven. It is hard to find fresh mint during the cold season here in the New England area, so I buy a bunch, wash, dry it with paper towels, chop and freeze it; it works well for this dish.
  • In a medium saucepan over medium heat, sauté de soy protein crumbles in olive oil for 4 or 5 minutes, until slightly golden. Add the tomato sauce and black pepper and let it simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from stove, add parsley and mint, and stir to combine.
  • To make the cheesy bechamel, start warming the almond milk in the microwave for 2 minutes – time varies by microwave. In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan over low heat, warm ½ cup of olive oil for 2 minutes, stir in flour slowly, and whisk vigorously and constantly until it forms a thick paste, about 2 minutes. Add the warm almond milk slowly and continue always whisking as the sauce thickens and boils, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let it cool with the lid on for 10 minutes. Add the nutmeg and vegan cheese, and stir to combine.
  • Preheat the oven to 355°F (180°C). Cook the pasta “al-dente” according to package instructions (tender but still firm to the bite). Drain.
  • To assemble, spread the soy protein sauce on the bottom of a 9×9-inch (18 x 18 cm) baking dish. Spread the cooked pasta over the sauce. Cover it with the cheesy bechamel sauce. Bake it for 40 minutes.