Gluten-Free Spaghetti Casserole

Gluten-free spaghetti layered with tofu and a blend of Tofutti dairy-free cheeses, fresh spinach and an artichoke and roasted pepper tomato sauce, seasoned with garlic and fennel. All topped with Tofutti Better Than Mozzarella Cheese singles and baked till hot and melted!

*Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

What you’ll need . . .

1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
1 c. diced onion, 1/2 inch squares
14 oz. can quartered artichoke hearts, including liquid – finger through them to discard outer, large, tough petals
5 fresh garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 t. salt
2 c. diced sweet red roasted peppers, 1/2 inch squares, including 1/2 c. liquid from jar/can
20 or so pitted Kalamata olives, coarsely chopped
28 oz. can petite diced tomatoes, drained – reserve liquid
28 oz. can tomato puree
1 T. ground fennel seed
2 t. garlic powder
2 t. dried basil
1 t. dried oregano
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. ground allspice
1/4 t. red cayenne pepper
1 t. sugar
2 t. liquid smoke
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2, 6 oz. can tomato paste mixed in bowl with reserved tomato liquid from tomatoes till smooth

How to make the sauce . . .
In extra-large skillet, over medium heat, melt olive oil. Add onion and saute till wilted. Add artichokes plus liquid from can, fresh garlic and salt. Cook 5 minutes.

Add roasted peppers plus liquid from jar and olives. Cook 10 minutes.

Add tomatoes, tomato puree, fennel, garlic powder, basil, oregano, cinnamon, allspice, red cayenne pepper, sugar, liquid smoke and freshly ground black pepper to taste, stirring after each addition. Stir well, cover and cook on low heat for 30 minutes.

Add tomato paste/liquid mix. Stir well, adjust for salt and seasoning. Cook 10 more minutes, uncovered, remove from heat and set aside till ready to use.

More stuff . . .

16 oz. container Tofutti Better Than Ricotta Cheese
8 oz. container Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese Herbs & Chives, at room temperature
12.3 oz. pkg. extra firm silken type tofu, rinsed
1-1/2 t. salt
2 t. garlic powder
1 t. sugar
1/2 t. dry mustard
2 T. (level) cornstarch

Making the filling . . .
Combine Tofutti Better Than Ricotta Cheese, Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese, tofu, salt, garlic powder, sugar and dry mustard in large bowl. Mash with potato masher till as evenly smooth as you can get it.

Sift 1 tablespoon of cornstarch on top of mixture. Immediately mash till thoroughly incorporated. Then sift the second tablespoon of cornstarch and incorporate in the same way. Set aside.

Putting the whole thing together . . .
16 oz. pkg. gluten-free spaghetti, I used Barilla brand available in most markets – cooked according to package instructions, minus a minute or two, since it will cook more in the oven; drained in colander and rinsed under cold water till cold
4 heaping c. fresh baby spinach leaves
8 single slices Tofutti Better Than Mozzarella Cheese singles

1. In a 9 x 13 inch baking dish spoon 2-3 cups sauce evenly on bottom.

2. Top sauce evenly with 1/2 of the spaghetti.

3. Top spaghetti evenly with 1/2 of the spinach leaves.

4. Top spinach evenly with 1/4 of the filling.

5. Top filling with about 4 cups sauce, followed by remaining remaining spaghetti, followed by remaining spinach, followed by remaining filling.

6. Top filling evenly with 8 Tofutti cheese singles.

7. Top Tofutti cheese singles with about 2 cups sauce.

Be sure to submerge all spaghetti ends that may pop up along the sides. You’ll have sauce leftover. Reserve for other use.

Bake in preheated 375 degree oven, uncovered, for 45 minutes. Remove from oven. Let set 10 minutes before cutting into squares, or if spooning from the dish, serve immediately. If desired, drizzle each serving with a little extra virgin olive oil. A green leaf salad served with a homemade oil and vinegar dressing goes well with the flavors and textures of this casserole.

Serves 8 to 12.

Created exclusively for Tofutti Brands, Inc. by Sharon Lee Davies-Tight.

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