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Spaghetti Cake with Grandma Sharon's Hater-Proof Sauce

Spaghetti Cake with Grandma Sharon's Hater-Proof Sauce

a special guest recipe from Bake & Destroy's Natalie Slater

Intro from Natalie: My grandma is a four foot, ten inch firecracker. She’ll sass you so fast you won’t know what hit you, but if you’re lucky, she’ll make it all better with her famous spaghetti sauce. I've seen semi truck drivers go weak in the knees for it - it’s 100% hater-proof. Grandma’s sauce is the star of the show in this homey baked pasta dish that holds up well as left overs.


Spaghetti Cake with Grandma Sharon's Hater-Proof Sauce

2 cups baby bella mushrooms, sliced
- 1 cup green or Kalamata olives, pitted and halved
2 cloves garlic, minced
oil for pan
2 (15 oz) cans tomato sauce
6 oz can tomato paste
12 oz water (use the empty tomato paste can to measure)
1 tablespoon dry Italian seasoning
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon sugar
pinch teaspoon black pepper
pinch salt
1 medium onion, peeled (see below for cutting instructions)

Cashew Ricotta:
1 (12.3 oz) box firm silken tofu
⅓ cup whole raw cashews
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoon salt

1 lb spaghetti, cooked al dente

cup bread crumbs
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
teaspoon salt

Plus olive oil and bread crumbs to coat a 9 x 13” casserole dish.

My grandma’s secret is to cut an end off the peeled onion, leaving the other end round. Cut 2-3 slices into the flat end, but don’t cut all the way through. As the onion cooks in the sauce, it will open like a flower, flavoring the sauce without big chunks of onion. You can then decide if you want to break pieces of onion off and leave them in your final sauce, or if you want to toss the onion out.

In a large saucepan, combine all of the sauce ingredients, including the cut onion. cover, and simmer the sauce over medium-low heat for 1 & hours. Stir occasionally with a wooden spoon. When finished, remove the bay leaves from the sauce and discard.

While the sauce simmers, grind the cashews in a food processor until very fine. Add the tofu, lemon juice and salt and blend until well combined - some texture is good!

In a small bowl, mix together bread crumbs, nutritional yeast and salt to make the topping.

Preheat the oven to 300 and coat your casserole dish with olive oil. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoons of bread crumb mixture and set aside. Cook the spaghetti according to package directions.

Drain, but don’t rinse the spaghetti and return the pasta to the pot you cooked it in. Stir in Cashew Ricotta and 1 cup of sauce.

Place the pasta in the casserole dish and top with about 2 tablespoons of the bread crumb mixture. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil, and bake 15 more minutes. Cut baked pasta into squares and serve with warm sauce poured over each slice. Sprinkle with additional bread crumb mixture or some vegan Parmesan.

Party tip: If you prefer a chunkier pasta sauce, throw a drained can of fire roasted tomatoes in there!

Natalie Slater is the author of Bake and Destroy: Good Food for Bad Vegans and the proprietor of Learn more about Natalie in our 10-Question Interview.

2013-2016, Vegan Street

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