Skip to main content

Creamy Penne Pasta Bake with Zucchini

Vegan and non dairy creamy pasta bake with gluten free brown rice penne


A Creamy Pasta Bake for Spring.


Mac and cheese gets a makeover. Just in time for swimsuit shopping (also affectionately known around here as the annual Parade of Shame). It's time to start cooking light again, and give your body a break from all that white rice pasta, butter, and double cheese. It's time to kiss bacon good-bye. Hot weather is coming, Babycakes. The beach and poolside beckon. And I am not prepared. Are you?

I've been lax with my downward facing dogs (actually, I'm forbidden to do downward facing dogs these days, but that's another story). My lumbo-pelvic complex is cranky. My core is catnapping. And my biceps need curling. Or something like that. What it basically means is I've got some flab I need to banish. Remember that roll around my middle I call Doris? She's still here. She has not skedaddled. My usual winter weight gain of five hibernation pounds is eight this year.

I could blame those Raspberry Coconut-Almond Bars my husband keeps making (he who can eat cookies and brownies and still sport flat abs). I could blame fructan and fructose, and various unfriendly members of FODMAPs who may be the bottom line bloat culprit in my ongoing emulation of my halcyon pregnancy days (those of you with IBS symptoms despite going gluten-free might want to look into this whole fructose blah blah polyol thing).


But mostly I blame how much time I spend on the iMac. Sitting. Typing. Sitting some more. Social networking. The Internet is an amazing gift. But it is damn hard on the body. I'm vowing to get up and move more frequently. Shake my booty. Feel the burn. Or at least feel some heat.

So just in case you're in the same mood, too. I've made a lighter version of the classic baked mac and cheese.

I used gluten-free penne for the pasta. Organic soy milk and Smart Balance vegan "butter" for the cream sauce. Zucchini and garlic and chives for a flavor boost. And it was fab. Light. Creamy.

Perfect for Spring.




Karina Allrich in Allergic Living Magazine Spring 2010




Allergic Living magazine is now publishing a US edition. Lucky us! And I am delighted to announce I am a small part of it. The American launch issue is chock full of gluten-free goodness- including my article, Perfect Harmony (featuring three of my gluten-free, dairy-free recipes, including a brand new Carrot Cake recipe with orange frosting, and a new Orange Scented Soda Bread to accompany a light, vegan potato soup), Sloane Miller's Guide to Smart, Safe Dining, kitchen tips from Ming Tsai and Susur Lee, Gluten-Free Girl's Plane Lucky on flying gluten-free, beautiful Spring recipes from Chef Simon Clarke, the latest g-free news from celiac expert Shelly Case, and much more. 

How gluten-free cool is that?



Vegan pasta bake with zucchini



Creamy Gluten-Free Penne Pasta Bake Recipe with Zucchini

By Karina Allrich April 2011.

This fresh as a breeze Spring pasta bake is light and easy, vegan and gluten-free. The creamy non-dairy sauce is kid-friendly and mild. If your kids like a deeper, orange colored sauce, add half a teaspoon of paprika to the sauce and stir until blended.

First:

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Lightly oil the bottom of a large gratin dish or casserole and set aside.

Ingredients:

12 ounces gluten-free penne pasta
1 medium zucchini
Olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
Sea salt and ground pepper, to taste
Sprinkle of dried dill or Italian herbs, to taste

For the sauce:

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons vegan butter such as Smart Balance
4 tablespoons brown rice flour
2 1/2 cups organic soy milk* see notes
1/4 cup gluten-free nutritional yeast* see notes
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon mild rice vinegar
1/2 to 1 teaspoon GF Dijon mustard, optional

For the topping:

Chopped fresh chives

Instructions:

Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil and partially cook the brown rice penne, till just this side of al dente. You don't want to cook it completely, or you'll end up with mushy pasta, after it bakes.

Meanwhile wash, trim, and slice the zucchini into half moons. Heat a skillet over medium heat and add a splash of olive oil. Add the zucchini and minced garlic, season with sea salt, ground pepper, and a dash or two of dried dill or Italian herbs. Stir to coat, and quickly stir-fry, just until the zucchini is tender-crisp. Don't overcook it. It will continue to cook in the oven.

Start making the creamy pasta sauce. Heat the olive in a medium saucepan and add the vegan butter. When the "butter" melts, add in the brown rice flour and stir with a whisk to make a paste. Heat it through, stirring and cooking the paste for a minute. Slowly add in the soy milk (or your milk of choice) and whisk the milk with the paste to combine. Add in the nutritional yeast, garlic powder, sea salt, nutmeg, rice vinegar and mustard (if using). Stir the sauce until it thickens and turn down the heat. If it gets too thick you can thin it with a dash of white wine, or more soy milk.

When the pasta is done, drain it well, and drizzle it with a touch of good olive oil. Pour the cooked penne into a large gratin dish or casserole. Add in the zucchini. Pour the sauce in and gently, very gently, combine the penne, zucchini, and sauce until the penne is coated. Sprinkle the top with fresh snipped chives.

Cover the dish with foil. Bake the penne in the center of a preheated oven for 20 minutes, until heated through and bubbling.

Cook time: 35 min

Yield: Serves 6


Recipe Source: glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.com

All images & content are copyright protected, all rights reserved. Please do not use our images or content without prior permission. Thank you. 




Gluten free zucchini pasta bake



Recipe Notes:


I used organic soy milk in this sauce- and it helps make the sauce rich and creamy. If you cannot tolerate soy, try unsweetened, clean tasting hemp milk, almond milk, or light coconut milk (like So Delicious).

If you do not care for nutritional yeast, omit it and add one to two tablespoons creamy, mild raw almond butter or raw cashew butter. (Roasted will be too strong.)

Add 1/4 cup dry white wine to the sauce for a more "grown-up" flavor.
This creamy vegan sauce is also wonderful spooned over hot cooked pasta (if you don't have the time or inclination to bake it), or poured on steamed vegetables, even brown rice.




TRENDING

Gluten-Free Shepherd's Pie Two Ways (one vegan)

For today's menu? Gluten-Free Shepherd's Pie Two Ways (one vegan). A frigid wind is rolling through, interrupting our whisper of solar warmth with bracing bursts of frosty cold. But the skies are clear and cobalt blue, nudging out the low wooly gray of yesterday. Still, it's the kind of day that calls for comfort in the form of food. Something baked in a crock. Something piping hot and old fashioned. Something with mashed potatoes. A savory pie, I said out loud, standing at the window watching our pair of cardinals and chickadees take turns at the feeder stocked with black oil sunflower seeds. Don't tease me, said my husband from his corner study, looking up, I imagine, from his latest screenplay effort. I wouldn't joke about a thing like pie, I assured him. I'm thinking- a shepherd's pie, I said. More to myself than him. But not the usual shepherd's pie. No lamb. No beef. No onion. No peas, I murmured. Please, he said. No peas. (His hearing is ex

Gluten-Free Fudge Brownies - Our New Favorite Recipe

Our go-to brownie recipe- for years- was this fabulous Dark Chocolate Brownie Recipe , created back in the early, innocent gluten-free days of 2006. And it has never failed us. We must have baked hundreds of these brownies. I'm so not kidding. So why mess around and experiment with success, you might, quite logically, ask? Well. I cannot come up with a definitive philosophy behind my impulse to try something new. All I can say is, It's my nature. And that's good news for brownie lovers everywhere. Because these fudgy-good gems are easy to make. No xanthan gum or weird ingredients. Just rich chocolate goodness. What better way to ring in a New Year? So go. Get fudgy. Peace - Love - Chocolate, Karina xo

Gluten-Free Goddess Banana Nut Bread Recipe

Banana bread for the rest of us. No apologies needed.  Out there in the cold cruel world, Darling, some folks apparently (still) view our gluten-free lifestyle through a jaded foodie lens, believing, first of all, that gluten-free anything is never going to taste anything but awful, and second, that this whole gluten-free trend (their word not mine) is a fad not worthy of serious consideration, appreciation and compassion. Apart from the standard (and brief) lip service that non-afflicted food writers, bloggers and journalists pay to celiac disease, adhering to the medical treatment that is a gluten-free diet is degraded- for that sexy topical hook- to a "bandwagon". An eating disorder. A diet by choice. They dub it a controversy. Two food bloggers referenced the gluten-free diet on a social networking site recently, bragging about their "iron stomachs" and their ability to chow down on everything, implying that those of us unable to ingest gluten merely have &

Snow Day Cake with Blueberries

Last night's winter storm crept in overnight, waking me in the pitch black dark of 4 AM with its silence, its ten-inch thick blanket of fresh fallen snow. Magic like that can wake you up out of a sound sleep. After padding around to the windows to see if flakes were still drifting down and downy, sticking to the bird-feeders in impossibly high heaps, I couldn't get back to sleep, so I preheated the oven and baked us a tea cake for breakfast.  It's a simple muffin style cake studded on the top with blueberries. I know. I know. Blueberries? In January. Well. Yeah. Because January. Because snowstorm. And honestly, who doesn't crave blueberries all year round? Why should they be relegated only to summer recipes?  That's why The Goddess invented frozen blueberries. For snow days. And recipes like this one.  Stay cozy wherever you are, and stay safe. Bake a cake.  Add a little sweetness to your weekend. Karina xo

Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas

Fabulous Chicken Enchiladas- worthy of a game day get-together. Yummy. Easy. Chicken enchiladas. I never tire of them. And I'm not alone. My chicken enchilada recipes are among the most popular recipes on the blog. It's understandable. Enchiladas make a perfect make-ahead recipe for a weeknight supper, football Sunday, or a pot luck gathering. And they are (easily) gluten-free.  Make enchiladas earlier in the day- in this handsome ceramic baking pan , if you like. Half time nosh is done. Serve with this longtime family favorite-   Joey's Rockin' Guac   and tortilla chips. As easy as uno, dos, tres. Stay safe out there! Karina xo

New Chocolate Muffins for Winter 2022

Facing the Winter of 2022 takes a dash of courage. A pinch of patience (well, way more than a pinch!). And a hopeful refresh of your favorite treat go-tos. In other words. HERE WE GO AGAIN. Bring on the chocolate. So with that in mind, my beloveds. This is my latest version of a chocolate breakfast treat- a gluten-free muffin with options. If you need a sweet- but not too sweet- lure to start your day, these cocoa infused beauties might be just the ticket. If- like me- you may need a little extra deliciousness, especially on a gloomy day, you can add in (like I did, I confess) extras. Like, dark chocolate chips. And walnuts or pecans. It's up to you how much indulgence you need to get you through. We don't judge. The added bonus? Your kitchen will smell like a bakery. Like a chocolate hug. Like... love, maybe. Because the secret ingredient is always LOVE. Put love in your baking and your day is sure to be brighter. And more delicious. Love yourself. Take care of your Someone Sp

Butternut Chili Spicy 'n Sweet

A New Year's bowl of comfort for 2022. Sweet 'n spicy chili with a dash of lime. New Year's Day is almost upon us. Rather than wax nostalgic about the bumpy ride of the year we've had, I'd rather post a simple home cooked recipe I know you'll love.  Making a pot of bean soup or legume heavy chili to welcome in a freshly minted year is a tradition as old as the hills. From Italian Pasta Fagioli to homestyle southern Hoppin' John , beans somehow acquired the favorable reputation of attracting good luck.  Why? I haven't a clue. But I do know this.  Beans paired with cubes of winter squash make for one sweet and tasty chili. That, Dear Reader, you can take to the bank. Wishing you all good luck, good health and lots of love in 2022. Karina xo