In my family its a tradition that on your birthday you get to go to the restaurant of choice. I think this ‘tradition’ has been around since we were old enough to pick somewhere other than McDonad’s or Pizza Hut. When I was younger I always wanted to go to Cheddars. Its your standard American chain restaurant with huge portions and a dessert called the ‘cookie monster’ which was a chocolate chip cookie baked in an iron skillet, topped with ice cream and eaten until you burst. But thats another post. Today is about the Spasagna. This was always my favorite. Maybe just because of the name.
My theme so far this month has been comfort like food. Hot, easy, really filling stuff. We have a white board in our house with ideas for meals and I added spasagna yesterday and its already been made. It called to me. So did the pound of opened angel hair pasta in the cupboard. This was really easy and very well received by the rest of the occupants of the blue house (I even got the highest compliment, a “better than mom’s”). This uses the cashew ricotta from Veganomicon, so if for some reason you don’t have this vegan cooking bible ride out into any unsavory weather and get it.
I sauteed some greens and red bell pepper to mix with the white sauce but any veggies would work (or none at all). Next time I want to try mushrooms.
1 lb. long pasta – spaghetti or angel hair
1/2 lb. greens, deribbed and chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 recipe cashew ricotta from Veganomicon
(When making the ricotta add 3 tbsp. nutritional yeast, 1/3 c. soy milk and 3/4 tsp. arrowroot)
1 lg. can or jar of tomato sauce or 4 c. homemade sauce
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Spray or oil a 9×13 pan. Cook pasta according to directions, when done rinse briefly with cold water. Begin sauteing vegetables in a little oil. Make cashew ricotta. Once veggies are soft take off heat and cool slightly before adding the ricotta. Mix together pasta and cream sauce, make sure to use a big bowl or pot. Spread half the tomato sauce in the bottom of the prepared pan. Top with all the pasta mixture. Pour the rest of the tomato sauce on top and bake for 30-40 minutes, until hot. Allow to rest for 10 minutes so everything can set.