Baked Pink Pasta Casserole With Chicken & Peas (Vegan)

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

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Another easy one & another one that can be made with or without “meat.”  Today is the last day of my badass boyfriend’s holiday stay so I will make this as brief as possible (so I can hang out with him).  So – recipe only.

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Baked Pink Pasta Casserole With Chicken & Peas (Vegan)

Serves 4-6

INGREDIENTS

1 lb dry pasta (I used large shells)

Olive oil

1 29 oz can tomato puree

1 10 oz can Rotel (or diced tomatoes with green chilies)

4 garlic cloves – minced

1 tsp crushed red pepper (or to taste)

1 tsp oregano

1 tsp dry basil

1 tsp each S&P

9+ oz veganchicken – thawed & shredded (optional) – I love Beyond Meat

1 cup peas (optional)

4 oz vegan cream cheese

10 basil leaves – sliced or diced

1 cup grated cheese (I used a mozzarella/cheddar mix)

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DIRECTIONS

(Full disclosure – I originally – 3 years ago – made and posted this with real cheese – hence the visual.)

Cook & drain the pasta.

Heat a TBS or so of olive oil in a sauce pan.  Add the garlic & cook for about 30 seconds.  Add the tomato puree & Rotel.  Stir & add the oregano, crushed red pepper & dry basil.  Add the S&P.  Stir to incorporate.   Stir in the cream cheese & peas (if using peas).  Take about 1 cup of sauce & set it aside.

Heat the oven to 375.  In a large bowl, mix the pasta with the larger quantity of sauce.  Add chicken – if you are using it.  Stir it all together.

Grease a casserole dish with cooking spray.  Cover the bottom of the dish with the cup of reserved sauce.  Put the pasta mix in on top of that.  Top with the grated cheese.

Bake for about 20 minutes or until the cheese on top is sift or melted & beginning to brown.  Serve it up & garnish with the chopped basil.

ENJOY!

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