Retro Saturday: Florentine Pasta Casserole

VLUU L210  / Samsung L210

I’d been wanting to try Mary McDougall’s Baked Penne Florentine, from The Starch Solution (p. 303) for a long time. Thanks to recent Vegan Mofo experiments with casseroles, I decided to give it a try. The first version even pleased SAD eaters, although not everyone appreciated the spinach. But I wasn’t satisfied with the recipe, I wanted to modify the cashew sauce a little to make it more nutrient dense, so I added cooked cauliflower. I also seasoned it more than Mary’s, which is quite mild and kid proof. Mary cooks some onion separately, then blends it into the sauce. I wanted easier and faster, so I used onion and garlic powder instead. I like my version, as I get a more Fuhrman like combination of greens, beans and a cruciferous vegetable.

Florentine Pasta Casserole


8 oz (dry) small whole wheat pasta, cooked

1/2 head cauliflower, coarsely chopped, cooked

1/2 C raw cashews

1 can white beans, drained and rinsed

1 package frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed of water

1 T miso

1 t dry mustard

1 t onion powder

1/2 t garlic powder

2 t fresh lemon juice

bread crumbs for topping (optional)

VLUU L210  / Samsung L210

Steaming cauliflower on top of cooking pasta


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Put on a large pot of water to boil

Cook pasta

While pasta cooks, cook the cauliflower. You can microwave it, or do as I did, and steam it on top of the pasta pot.

In a high speed blender or food processor, blend all ingredients except pasta and spinach.

Mix pasta with spinach first, trying to spread out the spinach as evenly as possible. Then add the blended sauce and mix well. It’s easiest to do this in a large mixing bowl, then put into a casserole dish. It helps you to figure out how bug a dish you need. Spread pasta evenly, dust with paprika, cover tightly and bake about 45 minutes.

Mixed and ready for the oven

Mixed and ready for the oven

To Serve:

Season with salt and pepper to taste. Other seasonings that work well are a squirt of fresh lemon juice and/or your favorite hot sauce. Enjoy!

Served with peas (old skool) and baked squash (new skool)

Served with peas (old skool) and baked squash (new skool)

About vegpedlr

Plant powered off-road triathlete
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