janet @ the taste space

Creamy Spinach Florentine Casserole

In Favourites, Mains (Vegetarian) on April 8, 2017 at 11:17 AM

Creamy Spinach Florentine Casserole

This dish is a favourite in our house. I first made it when I was pregnant, when I was craving all things cheezy and carby, and it was so good we continue to make it routinely.

I have only taken photographs once, and it was when I mistakenly added twice the amount of noodles, so it wasn’t as saucy. I recommend the full amount of sauce though. This is a saucy dish and the sauce is LOVELY. Creamy, yet not heavy.

Creamy Spinach Florentine Casserole

The original recipe is fabulous with just spinach and noodles, but since then, we’ve been creative with the addition of chickpeas, peas, and smoked tofu. My favourite combination is the smoked tofu and peas. The spinach easily melts into the dish, so it is bonus nutrition without lots of flavour.

The recipe is a bit finicky to make with a few steps (make the sauce, cook the noodles, bake the casserole), but nothing is hard. And it tastes fabulous. Please try it out and let me know how you like it. 🙂

Creamy Spinach Florentine Casserole

PS. I am sharing this with Meat Free Mondays.

Creamy Spinach Florentine
Adapted from Vegan Casseroles, as originally seen here

8 ounces dried shell pasta or macaroni
1 (10-ounce) bag frozen spinach, thawed
1x 340g package smoked tofu, chopped into small bite size pieces
300g fresh/frozen peas
1 recipe Almost Alfredo Sauce (see below)
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
1 teaspoon granulated onion
3/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.

2. Grease an 8-inch square glass or ceramic baking dish.

3. In a large pot, fill with water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add pasta and peas and cook according to the package directions. Keep them on the al dente side. Drain pasta and peas and place aside.

4. Meanwhile, prepare your sauce. See below.

5. Thaw your spinach in the microwave if it is still frozen. Remove most of the water by squishing it out with a large spoon.

6. Combine the pasta, peas, smoked tofu, spinach along with the sauce in a large bowl. Stir until combined. Add the mustard, nutritional yeast, granulated onion and nutmeg and stir to completely combine. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

7. Place this mixture into the greased baking dish. Bake for 20-30 minutes, with a cookie sheet underneath to catch any sauce that bubbles over. Bake until hot and bubbly. Remove from oven, cool slightly and serve.

Serves 4.

Almost Alfredo Sauce

2.5 cups plain unsweetened soymilk
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup raw unsalted cashews, soaked for at least 2 hours and drained (no need to soak if you have a high speed blender)
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
3 tablespoons oat flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1.25 teaspoons fine sea salt, or more to taste
1 teaspoon granulated onion

1. In the jar of a blender, combine the soymilk, water, cashews, nutritional yeast, oat flour, cornstarch, salt, and granulated onion. Blend the mixture at high speed until completely smooth and no bits of nuts remain. If you don’t have a big blender, blend the mixture in two batches.

2. Transfer the mixture to a large saucepan and place over medium-high heat. Bring the sauce to a simmer, whisking continuously. Once the mixture comes to a simmer, reduce the heat slightly and cook, whisking continuously until thickened, about 5 to 10 minutes.

Tip: Use a good-tasting unsweetened soymilk for this sauce, as the flavor really comes through. If you’re using a high-speed blender, you can skip the soaking step for the cashews and just use them dry. Add a little extra water to blend if needed.

Makes about 3 cups.

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  1. That looks really delicious – and the photo is great and makes me want to try it – I love a big pasta bake esp now that it is getting cooler here – it also looks a good dish to share with your wee baby once he is ready

  2. Oh my goodness YES! I can’t wait to try this out. I’m always craving carby things haha 😉
    The idea of adding smoked tofu to it sounds amazing.

  3. Yum that pasta casserole bake looks good, I have picked up some kale and am wondering to make this recipe with it, if not you have inspired me.

  4. I have never tried a vegan alternative to mac and cheese, simply because I greatly disliked traditional mac and cheese. But, this does look very good and the ingredient list is full of things I like so I suspect I would enjoy it!

    Hope all is well in your world and with your little one 🙂

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