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The Best Rigatoni and Vegetable Casserole

You can make the vegetable mixture in advance; just bring it up to room temperature or warmer before assembling the casserole.
Course Main Course
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 301 kcal
Author Susan Voisin

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces rigatoni or other pasta
  • 1 large zucchini or 2 medium zucchini sliced 1/4-inch half moons
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1 bell pepper seeded and chopped
  • 1 small or 1/2 medium eggplant cubed
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 tablespoons water more as needed
  • 2 14.5 ounce cans diced tomatoes (fire roasted if available)
  • 3 teaspoons dried basil divided
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano divided
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 12-14 ounces firm or extra-firm tofu reduced fat, if available
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes optional or to taste
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts (omit to reduce fat, see below)

Instructions

  1. Boil the pasta according to package directions, cooking until just barely tender (a little undercooked is better than overcooked). When it’s done, reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water before draining the pasta.
  2. While the pasta’s cooking, sauté the zucchini, onions, bell pepper, eggplant, and garlic in 2 tbsp. water in a nonstick pan over medium heat, adding more water if needed to prevent sticking. Cover and cook until onion is translucent and eggplant has begun to soften.
  3. Place one of the cans of tomatoes, including juices, into the blender and puree. When the vegetables are tender, add all tomatoes, the reserved pasta cooking water, 1 tsp. basil, 1 tsp. oregano, 1 tsp. salt, the rosemary, and tomato paste; stir, and keep warm.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  5. Mash the tofu in a large bowl and stir in the nutritional yeast and remaining basil, oregano, salt, and red pepper flakes. Stir in the cooked rigatoni.
  6. Lightly oil a 4-quart casserole dish. Spread a thin layer of the vegetable mixture over the bottom (you just want a little sauce there to keep the pasta from sticking). Place a layer of half the pasta mixture, then cover with half the sautéed vegetables; repeat layers.
  7. Cover the casserole and bake it for 30 minutes. Remove cover and sprinkle with pine nuts, if you’re using them. Bake another 15 minutes.

Recipe Notes

If you leave out the pine nuts, you’ll reduce the calories to 263 and the fat grams to 2.3 or 20 calories (7%) from fat.

Nutrition Facts
The Best Rigatoni and Vegetable Casserole
Amount Per Serving (0 g)
Calories 301 Calories from Fat 55
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6.1g 9%
Sodium 995mg 41%
Total Carbohydrates 47.3g 16%
Dietary Fiber 5.9g 24%
Sugars 8.7g
Protein 15.8g 32%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.