Vegan Chorizo Spiced Rigatoni Bake
A deliciously spiced baked rigatoni dish, packed with garlic, smoked paprika and cayenne pepper. It's spicy, creamy and baked to crispy perfection in all the right places. Not to mention - it's 100% vegan!
For the "Cream"
- 80 g unsalted cashews or sunflower seeds (or 200ml vegan cream - see subs section above)
- 120 g water
For the Chorizo Spice Blend
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
- 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
- 1.5 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp flaky sea salt
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 4 black peppercorns
For the Rigatoni Bake
- 300 g rigatoni (make sure it's a vegan variety with no eggs)
- 1 onion (small, finely chopped)
- 2 cloves of garlic (peeled and crushed)
- 2 tsp chorizo spice blend (as above)
- 350 ml passata
- 100 ml reserved pasta water
- 1/2 batch of school night vegan mozzarella (or your favourite store-bought vegan cheese)
To Make the "Cream"
Boil a kettle of water. Place the cashews or sunflower seeds in a medium bowl. Cover with around a litre of water and cover the bowl with a plate or a lid. Leave to soak for at least 1 hour.
Once soaked, drain off the water and reserve the soaked nuts/seeds. Place the nuts/seeds in the cup of a high speed blender along with 120g fresh water (do not use the water you soaked the nuts/seeds in). Blend until completely smooth and set aside.
If you have access to a good vegan cream alternative and would rather use this, skip the steps above and measure out 200ml of vegan cream. Set aside.
To Make the Chorizo Spice Blend
Place a small, dry frying pan over a medium heat. Add the cumin and fennel seeds to the pan and toast gently until fragrant. Do not allow them to burn - stir them constantly.
Remove the seeds from the pan and place in a high speed blender along with all the other chorizo spice blend ingredients. Set aside.
To Make the Rigatoni Bake
Preheat your oven to 200c/180c fan.
Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Add the rigatoni and bring to a simmer. Meanwhile place a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add a drizzle of olive oil and bring to temperature.
Add the onion to the pan and fry gently for a few minutes before adding the garlic. Fry for another few minutes and add 2 tsp of the chorizo spice blend. Stir to coat the onions.
Add the passata and bring to a simmer. Cover the pan with a lid and allow to bubble away nicely, stirring occasionally, until the passata has reduced, thickened and darkened in colour slightly (around 8-10 minutes).
By this point, your pasta should be almost 'al dente'. Being sure to reserve around 100ml of pasta water, drain off the rigatoni and toss in a little oil to keep it from sticking together. Add the reserved pasta water to the sauce in the frying pan.
Stirring often, allow the sauce to simmer for a further few minutes until smooth and glossy. Finally, add the cashew/sunflower cream or vegan cream alternative and stir well to combine. Add the sauce to the drained pasta and stir to combine.
Transfer the pasta and sauce to an ovenproof dish (I used a deep, cast iron skillet) and top with some SNV mozzarella (or your favourite store-bought vegan cheese).
Place in the oven and bake for 35 minutes until golden brown and crisp on top.
Calories: 442kcal | Carbohydrates: 74g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 617mg | Potassium: 741mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 868IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 55mg | Iron: 5mg