Yeap. Sounds very weird, but is deliciously weird!!!
This dish has a story behind: First, was one of the most hated meals I ever had when I was a toddler. Was so awful to eat this meal for me that I still remember the struggle that Sunday’s lunch at my parents home: As any child, for me eating greens was terrible.
But, don’t ask me when and how my taste buds changed and my mother in another tireless attempt to persuade me about how amazing this meal was, offered me a plate full of this “green spaghetti cake” (as she call it) and I fell in love with its flavor! Why? Why my mouth was depriving me of such delicious dish?
I asked my mom, where did you get this recipe? and she told me: “Well I don’t know, I guess I made it from scratch… Because there was a time when the things to cook weren’t so many, so one day I only had spaghetti, Swiss chard, a little bit of milk and some leftovers of Parmesan cheese, and I just mixed all up together. I was trying to made something different.” – To give you an idea of what time my mom was making reference, she was talking about of the 70’s.
Later, in other occasion, she added cream to that mixture and the dish went to another level. After that, she kept cooking the same recipe almost every Sunday, or at least once a month.
Back to the present, today is when I have to take my mother’s non vegan recipe and make it perfect: which means no animal suffering. Since I’m in “the States” I will have to replace that delicious Swiss chard with her cousin’s Spinach. I don’t know why, but I’ve lived 5 years in Florida and still I can’t put my hands on one Swiss chard. But Spinach is very similar in taste, and it will do just right in this dish. Also I’m going to use tofu to give consistency and creaminess, nutritional yeast to makes it as cheese, and soy milk instead of whole milk.
So, here we go!
Green Spaghetti Cake
1 Pkg spaghetti of your choice
1 1/2 Pkg baby spinach
1/2 Block tofu
3/4 Cup nutritional yeast
1 Cup soy milk (or any plant based milk, except coconut)
1 1/2 Tsp cornstarch
1 Tbsp Olive oil
1 Tsp salt
1/2 Tsp black pepper
2 Tsp garlic powder
1 Tsp “toffuti” cream cheese (optional)
- Cook your pasta “al dente”.
- preheat your oven at 375 f
- In a blender pour all the ingredients, reserving 1/2 of the nutritional yeast. Blend until get a very smooth and little runny sauce. Remember: the cornstarch will make its job thickening the mixture.
- The amount of ingredients could be very large for your blender, so I suggest to blend the sauce in two batches.
- On a greased baking pan place a 1 inch layer of your drained spaghetti, then pour a 1/3 of the sauce, and sprinkle over with nutritional yeast, and repeat 2 more times.
- Bring to the oven for about 15 minutes, or until you see the mixture boiling, that will tell you that the cornstarch is cooked. Keep an eye on it since could get dry if stays to long in the oven.
- Remove from the oven and let it rest for 2 to 5 minutes and is ready to serve!! Enjoy 🙂
P.S: If you have the chance to make it with Swiss chard, don’t discard the stems, just cut out the old ends and cook the whole package (those big batches similar in size to the collard greens) in boiling water until the leaves are very soft, but still in one piece, I’ll say 10 to 15 minutes after boiling, drain the excess of water, and then use them as directed in the recipe.
And here I’m, almost 40 years after those terrible moments when I was a toddler, adoring that dish. What can I say! its just impossible do not love this recipe from start to finish: Rich, flavorful, creamy, cheesy, cozy, full of nutrients… And is so easy!!! You’ll fall in love with this recipe.
Hope you give it a try, if so, please let me know 🙂