Thyme + Caraway Broccoli Pasta Bake
This is a deliciously cozy and nourishing pasta bake. It is creamy, flavorsome, savory, hearty, comforting, healthy, dairy-free and gluten-free (if you use gluten-free pasta). Whoever said that comfort food can’t be healthy and nutritious?
Not only is it high in nutrients but it is also high in protein from the tofu that is added to the sauce. This has fast become one of our household staple meals, particularly for a delicious main course meal served with a side salad and some green beans. Or even as a perfect packed lunch to take to work or school the following day.
The sneaky little bites of caraway give the dish a delicious fragrant humm. And that fragrant humm is particularly yummy when paired with the garlicky, rich sauce that the pasta is doused in. The thyme adds a beautiful herbaceous freshness that is gently weaved throughout the dish.
This is a great recipe to balance Vata dosha due to the creamy, warming nature of the dish as well as the slight kick from the black pepper and the saltiness of the sauce. It is also Pitta balancing due to the addition of broccoli. The creaminess of the sauce also helps to soothe Pitta types. For Kapha types this is less balancing due to the creamy, dense, rich nature of the dish.
For the Sauce:
1.5 cups of unsweetened soy milk (or almond milk)
150g of raw cashews
100g of firm tofu
2-3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped (I love garlic so I use 3)
½ yellow onion, chopped
1 tablespoon of olive oil (I used a truffle-infused olive oil)
1 tablespoon of dark miso paste
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 packed tablespoon of fresh thyme
2 teaspoons of Himalayan sea salt
1.5-2 teaspoons of whole caraway seeds
For the Pasta:
400g of pasta (the shape of your choosing)
200g of broccoli florets
2 tablespoons of Bragg’s nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon of chopped capers
1 tablespoon chopped chives for garnish
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius or 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Soak your cashews in boiling water while you measure and prepare the rest of your ingredients. If you are in a rush you can bring them to the boil for 5 minutes and then drain instead of soaking.
Place the olive oil in a pan and fry the chopped garlic and onion until translucent and slightly browned. It will be wonderfully aromatic.
Add the drained cashews, tofu, soy milk, onion and garlic mixture, the salt, miso, lemon juice, and pepper into a high-speed blender and blend on high until smooth and creamy. Once it is done, add in the caraway seeds and thyme. Mix well and then set aside.
Cook your pasta until it is al dente, according to the packet instructions. About a minute before the pasta is done cooking, add the broccoli florets into the cooking pasta in order to lightly blanch it. Once done, drain the pasta and broccoli and then add in the chopped capers. Set aside.
Mix 2 cups of the creamy sauce all over the pasta and broccoli until it is evenly incorporated. You can eat this just as is or otherwise transfer this delicious mixture into a baking dish, flatten it down with the back of a spoon and top with the nutritional yeast and extra black pepper.
Bake for 20-25 minutes until the edges are golden and delicious. Take out, and garnish with the chopped chives.
ENJOY! I highly recommend serving this meal with a side dish of flash-fried green beans with toasted flaked almonds and lemon juice and a side salad. Bon appetite!