Updated: Jul 17
This is based off of a recipe in Looneyspoons called ‘Gringo’s Star’ but I’ve completely remixed it to make it whole food plant based and hit my flavours. Lots of wiggle room here, especially if you want to up or reduce the spice.
Serves: 6-8 probably… but it tastes sooooo good - maybe less :)
1 box of dry whole grain pasta (12-16oz - pick a fun shape you like) (use whole wheat or brown rice if you’re gluten free)
2 cups cooked black beans
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 peppers, diced (whatever colours you want - but get two different ones)
2 cups low sodium sugar-free tomato sauce
3/4 cup salsa (whatever heat level you desire)
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chilli powder
1/4 tsp black powder
1 package firm tofu
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 cup plant-based cheese shreds (optional if you want to be whole food plant based)
1 tbsp fresh cilantro or parsley
Prepare the pasta however the box tells you to do. If this step messes with you please don’t go any further - not that this is a complicated recipe by any means, but if you can’t boil water… eeep…
Preheat your oven for 350 F.
Get a skillet nice and heated up, splash some water on and then dump in the onions, garlic, and peppers and mix around till they get a bit translucent and stuff. Once that happens toss in the beans and heat them up too. Toss the spices on and get everything coated nicely and then add the tomato sauce and salsa. Mix that shit up till it’s nice and combined. Turn off the heat and set aside for a beat.
Take your tofu, drain it and squeeze that shit up into a bowl with your hands till it’s all mushy and crumbly and looking like ricotta or cottage cheese. When it’s nice and blob-like add the nutritional yeast and mix it all up till that shit is combined.
Get a casserole dish (9 x 13 is ideal), and spread a little tomato sauce over the bottom to help everything from fucking sticking. Pour in half the pasta followed by half the sauce mixture and spread it all out. Layer the tofu mixture on top of that and spread it out evenly. Add the rest of the pasta, spread it out and follow that by the rest of the sauce. Sprinkle your cheese shreds over everything and then cover that shit up and pop that baby into the oven for 30 minutes!
Pull it out and let it sit for at least 5 minutes so everything can cool and settle. Top with your cilantro or parsley. Scoop that shit out onto a plate and SMASH IT INTO YOUR FACE!
You could swap out the black beans with veggie ground round, or lentils if you wanted to.
If you’ve got kids I suggest reducing the chilli powder to 1/2 tsp - otherwise UP IT! And you can also add diced jalapeños if you really like spice.