This red pepper pasta bake is the perfect comfort food that is nutritious, vegan and oil free. You can easily make it gluten free too! Think sweet pepper, tomato and basil, and a crispy baked top,
Prepare by pre-heating the oven to 220°C and roasting the peppers for about 15-20 minutes until the skin is black and blistered. Then half the cherry tomatoes and chop the fresh basil.
Remove the peppers from the oven and peel the charred skin. Place the peppers in a bowl and blend them with a stick blender until smooth. Turn the oven down to 200°C.
Now that everything is prepared, cook the whole wheat pasta as per packet instructions. Once cooked, drain and set aside.
Meanwhile, in a separate pan, cook the tomatoes down and let the excess water evaporate. Set aside.
In a medium sized pot, slowly heat the plant based milk and add the flour or mashed potato. Do not boil. Whisk the mixture continuously until a thicker consistency is achieved. Add the blended peppers to the same pot and heat thoroughly without boiling. Add the garlic powder, 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast, and salt and pepper to taste.
Add the cooked macaroni to the sauce together with the fresh basil, black beans and about two thirds of the tomatoes and stir until the macaroni is completely covered in the sauce.
Transfer the pasta and sauce to an oven dish. Cover the pasta with the remaining tomatoes and sprinkle more black pepper over the top. Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes until the top is crispy.
Sprinkle more fresh basil and the remaining nutritional yeast over the pasta once it comes out of the oven and serve!