Lemony pasta with baked “cheese” and cherry tomatoes

This is a twist on the social media hype of baked feta and tomato pasta.
I tried a feta based on tofu – first silkened, afterwards firm – but it did just taste awful. In my opinion tofu and the typical vegan cheese ingredients (nutritional yeast, garlic and onion powder etc) don’t work together at all.
So I tried to modify my own cheese recipes and added lemon zest to the party.
It’s easy and as mentioned in the mac n cheese recipe – you don’t need to ripe the cheese with the bacteria. It’s also super tasty if you use it immediately.

  • 500g pasta (I used gluten-free spelt curly pasta)
  • a bunch of fresh basil
  • 450g of fresh cherry tomatoes
  • 4 gloves of garlic, peeled, knife crushed
  • 1 tbsp dark balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup of pasta water
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp of lemon juice
  • salt, black pepper, dried oregano, dried thyme chili flakes
  • 1 tbsp of EVOO
CHEESE (ingredients + method):
  • 3 medium large cooked potatoes
  • 1/2 cup cashews (soaked overnight or cooked for about 20 min)
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tbsp white miso paste
  • 1 tsp Tamari
  • pinch of salt, garlic powder, black pepper, onion powder (as much as you like it to taste)
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
    (optional: add the filling of 3 probiotic capsules if you have them and the opportunity to let the cheese ripe over night)
  1. add all the ingredients into a blender and blitz until smooth and even (it’s a bit sticky because of the starchy potatoes, that’s fine, you don’t want a saucy consistency)
  2. taste and add more acid and / or spices if necessary
  3. set aside (at room temperature 12-24h if you choose the capsule-option, otherwise you can refrigerate it our use it immediately for the pasta bake)
  1. preheat the oven to 150°C / 305° F
  2. cut some of the cherry tomatoes into halves (2/3 of total amount), leave the others whole
  3. place the cheese in a baking dish, as well as the tomatoes and the garlic around
  4. add spices and sprinkle with some EVOO, balsamic vinegar
  5. bake for 35 minutes until the cheese and the tomatoes browned a little
  6. meanwhile cook pasta until al dente, save some pasta water and set aside
  7. remove the baking dish from the oven and mix the pasta inside, add some pasta water if necessary
  8. grate the lemon zest into the mixture as well as another sprinkle of lemon juice
  9. add some fresh basil leaves
  10. taste and add some more pepper, salt and chili if necessary
  11. garnish the plates with some more lemon zest and fresh basil leaves, if desired

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