baked spinach and pasta with a creamy roasted garlic sauce

i started playing around the silken tofu a while ago.  it works well as an egg replacer in baked goods or egg dishes.  but it also makes a thick, creamy sauce when blended, like in my recipe for  vegan sour cream.

recently, i’ve been brainstorming ways to turn tofu into a creamy pasta sauce and the result was surprisingly simple.  it just takes a little roasted garlic, some olive oil and salt!  the rich, sweet flavor of the roasted garlic gives the sauce all the flavor it needs and this simple sauce could be used in any dish you’d like!

baked spinach and pasta with a creamy roasted garlic sauce
1 bag of pasta (any kind you’d like; 14 oz)
1 bunch of spinach
1 block of silken tofu (12 oz)
2 heads of garlic
1/4 c of oil (olive or canola work great)
1 tsp salt
flax meal (optional)
bread crumbs (optional)

first off you must bake the garlic as this takes much longer than everything else.  peal all of the cloves of the 2 heads of garlic and remove their tough bottom tip.

bake them at 400F for 30 minutes loosely wrapped in aluminum foil, they should be slightly softened, light golden in color and much sweeter and less pungent than raw garlic.

while that’s roasting you can prep everything else.  boil your pasta until soft, then strain.

wash the spinach well and remove the bottoms of the stems.  i kept cut my leaves pretty coarsely  because they will shrink a bit when baked, and i like the long stringy pieces of spinach, but you can chop them smaller if you’d like.

the last thing to prep is optional.  i like to mix even parts of flax meal and bread crumbs to sprinkle over any baked pasta dish i make.  it gives it a nice hardy crunch on top.  if you don’t want to buy them, you can make bread crumbs or flax meal at home just by pulsing stale bread or flax seeds in the blender.

once the garlic is all done roasting, throw it in a blender along with the block of tofu, oil and salt.  blend and you’ve got the simplest, tastiest, creamiest sauce that’s perfect for any pasta dish or even with cooked vegetables.

mix the pasta, spinach and garlic sauce all together in a large bowl or pan.

then spoon out portions into small dishes for individual servings, or you can put it all in a casserole dish and bake it all together.  sprinkle with the flax meal/bread crumbs before popping it in the oven at 350F for about 15 minutes, or until the top is beginning to look crunchy and baked.

Comments

50 Responses to “baked spinach and pasta with a creamy roasted garlic sauce”
  1. Jodye says:

    This dish looks delectable. The roasted garlic sauce sounds so amazing and simple, definitely something I’ll be trying soon!

  2. Okriina says:

    I think roasten garlic works like magic in many things and it is not ‘garlic’ at all. This looks delicious and really nice photos!

  3. Erin says:

    Ahhh this looks amazing! I am going to try it out on Saturday night when the boy is out, but if it’s good (I’m sure it will be!) I’ll try it out on him, too, and not tell him about the tofu content. Thanks for this great idea!

  4. Kimmie says:

    DELICIOUS! You would have never guessed that it was made of tofu! Finally indulgence!

  5. Melisser says:

    Oh my my, that looks SO good & I’m not even a pasta girl.

  6. Trustngod says:

    This was amazing! It was so easy to make and tasted so decadent! Can’t wait to make it again. I had never used boxed silken tofu before. Now I’m hooked!

  7. Heather says:

    I just had some for dinner and it is very creamy and very yummy. I can’t wait to make it for my roommates and trick them into thinking its like mac and cheese!

    • jacqueline says:

      yah, it’s very convincing! i’ve even found that a scoop of vegannaise in place of some of the oil makes it even creamier when baked, so it doesn’t dry up as much.

      and keep your eyes out, because just last night i tricked some carnivores into thinking i’d made pizza with cheese when it was really just a very similar tofu sauce! i’ve got to share that recipe.

  8. Chrissy says:

    I just finished making this! I’m enjoying this right now….yum, I’m so pleased that I can finally have a creamy pasta dish without out the worry of all the bad stuff .

    Thanks for the recipe!

  9. Kira Williams says:

    This looks so decadent and amazing! If you cannot have soy, what can be used to substitute for the silken tofu? I’d love to try it

    • jacqueline says:

      hmm, good question. to be honest i don’t think there is anything that will work just like the tofu and be as convenient to just pop in the blender, but you could make up a sort of gravy/roux/cream sauce by sauteing some minced garlic and/or onions in some olive oil, slowly working in a little flour until it’s thick, then add in rice milk/nut milk/any other milk alternative, and cook down on low heat until it’s a creamy sauce. of course then let cool a little before blending with the roasted garlic and salt (no need to add more oil).

      but keep in mind i’m just guessing, i’ve never made it that way before so i don’t know how it would bake but let me know if you find success!

      • Amber says:

        Couldn’t you use the same coconut milk that you made in the pizza recipie?
        I made that just yesterday and it is a very rich sauce. Maybe use 1 cup of coconut milk and 2 heads of garlic.

        • jacqueline says:

          of course you could! i just posted this recipe first, and the coconut sauce was inspired by it. have never tried baking that sauce into a pasta dish but if you do then let me know how it turns out!

      • Michelle says:

        Hi,

        You could try ground cashew. You might need to adjust the recipe to compensate for volume, though. I would try 1/4 cup of ground cashew in the blender, and maybe some boiled potato (1 cup + a bit of cooking liquid maybe) for creaminess? I use a similar method in the mac n cheese I make, with boiled potato, carrot and cashew.

        Hope that helps! I’m going to try it this way. I’ll try to remember to come back and let you know how it goes.

        • jacqueline says:

          thanks for the input michelle! i’m curious as to how it turns out!

          for the mac and cheese did you bake the sauce with the noodles?

  10. Jenny says:

    Love the idea of using flax meal + bread crumbs! Also, I really like how you roasted your garlic for your sauce rather than blend it in with the tofu, which is what I would have done. Thanks for the ideas!

  11. Avivah says:

    I was THRILLED to see this recipe! Since my gallbladder was removed, I can’t have fatty foods/sauces like alfredo (which has been my favorite since I was 5). I thought this would be a perfect substitute. While the tofu was wonderful and creamy, the sauce was over powering with garlic and not edible…which was hard to admit b/c I’m a huge garlic fan. My fiance is currently in the kitchen trying to fix it so we can have dinner tonight. -I will make this again, but probably just use 1 garlic head.

    • jacqueline says:

      i’ve thought about this and wondering if you tried to use the sauce before baking it?? if so i’ve found it has too strong of a tofu flavor and does taste strange. but if you bake it in with the pasta and spinach the flavor changes quite a bit. i’ve used lots and lots of roasted garlic (even more than 2 heads) and never felt it is overwhelming in flavor. let me know how this ultimately turned out for you.

  12. Isobelle says:

    This looks incredibly good!

  13. Antonia says:

    To the person who cannot have soy– I tried another alfredo sauce recipe using canelli / navy beans and it turned out well! Perhaps you can try that– Good luck :)

    I’m going to try this recipe tonight–Hoping to feed to our in laws who think we don’t eat anything delicious because we are vegans! Ha!

  14. This looks sooooo rich and creamy! I can’t wait to try it out!! Anything garlic, I’m in!

  15. Cheryl Lyons says:

    I just made this. SO GOOD! I am a big fan of diced tomatoes, so I tossed a can in there! Also, I highly recommend adding some nutritional yeast to the cream sauce if you some in your kitchen, and I always do! =)

  16. Andrea says:

    I am eating this right now and it is so yummy! This was a really good idea for the sauce, I would love to try out different flavor combinations using this as a base. Thanks for a great recipe! :)

  17. Melanie says:

    I found this recipe on Pinterest and have adapted it slightly by using a Gluten Free lentil pasta (fusilli). It has become our new family favourite, and I make it once ever week or 2. Fantastic recipe!!!

  18. Brigit Hampel says:

    I would love to make this recipe but without the oil. Is there something else I could add instead?

  19. Jayne says:

    I’ve made this several times now. So delicious!! This time I added some pinenuts to the sauce when I was blending it and threw some in with the pasta before I baked it. Also added some chopped up grape tomatoes. Love it!!

  20. Tina Slater says:

    At our book club anniversary/potluck, one of members brought a huge casserole of this dish. Everyone loved it and by the end of the meeting it was all gone. I asked for the recipe so I could make it at home. It’s a definite “keeper”!

    To the person who commented that there was too much garlic and that it was “inedible” — I’d just ask if you made sure you roasted the garlic? Definitely don’t use raw garlic. Roasted garlic has an entirely different flavor, very mild and “buttery”.

  21. Gracie-Lou says:

    I made this tonight after envying it and not having tofu. Since having to be milk/egg free, this is honest to God the BEST meal I have had. I love this dish, thank you so much for sharing. I know this is an old post, but I figure it’s always good to hear positive feedback.
    thank you so much.
    Grace

  22. veronica says:

    oh this was wonderful. first time making a sauce with tofu and it was so thick and creamy and the roasted garlic really made it so flavorful. will definitely use this sauce over and over again and maybe switch it up with the pasta ingredients!! thank you!!

  23. Lauren says:

    I made this and its so full of flavor without guilt. I love this dish and will make it again and again. Thank you! I have been trying to figure out a creamy white base sauce that wasn’t Alfredo and didn’t contain milk. (Since I am mainly vegan) This is great. I used brown rice pasta. Love it!!

  24. Dawna says:

    Delicious! I added roasted cherry tomatoes and added a couple spoonfuls of nutritional yeast to the sauce…family loved it!

  25. Deborah says:

    Mine turned out very blah- had to add hot sauce to give it some kick. Did I do something wrong?

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