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Miraculously, and as though it were the calm before a devastatingly wet storm, the sun still shines on Manchester. Even with sunshine and clear blue skies, one can still experience a bit of the Blue Monday syndrome. And yes, dear readers, some of you will know that my feeling tired and/or uninspired always ends in pasta in my house.
This is a nice hearty bake that works wonderfully well with a simple leafy salad. It’s easy, can be made in advance, and is great for a bit of group al fresco dining (or for an easy family dinner). You need only put the bake in the oven approx 15 minutes before you need to serve.
- 1 large red onion, chopped
- 1 cup chopped seitan
- 1 red pepper, chopped
- 1 small courgette, chopped
- 2 tsp Italian herb mix (I like field fresh frozen herbs)
- 1 generous splash liquid aminos
- 1 generous splash red wine (optional)
- 1 small tin tomato purée
- 3 large cloves garlic
- 1 cup stale breadcrumbs (putting ‘real’ bread through the processer works better than buying ready made crumbs, which are usually too fine for anything except coating)
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
- Cooked penne pasta (enough for 4 people with this recipe)
Pre heat the oven to 180°C. Firstly, put a large pot of salted water on a high heat for your pasta; when the salted water is boiling, put your penne in to cook, which will usually take around 10 minutes.
Sauté the red onion and seitan in olive oil until the onion is soft and the seitan is browned. Splash over the liquid aminos and red wine and mix in the herbs. Add the chopped pepper and courgette and continue to sauté over a medium heat until the vegetables are softened. Then mix the tomato purée in with your seitan and vegetables, and a little water if the sauce is too thick.
Drain the cooked pasta and mix well with the sauce. Transfer to an oven proof dish. (At this point you can leave the dish to one side covered with foil if you’d like to leave it awhile before cooking).
When ready to cook, pulse the stale bread and garlic in a food processor until thoroughly mixed. Mix in the nutritional yeast if using. Sprinkle the mixture over the pasta, and bake for around 15 minutes or until the topping is crispy.
Serve with a simple leaf salad, topped with chopped baby tomatoes and a vinaigrette 🙂