[Post #86 for 100 days of Vegan, Gluten-Free, Portable Power Pucks]
When you think about Texas food, I am guessing you don’t think spaghetti.
Neither did I. Then I moved here and found out about baked spaghetti.
Before anyone gets their feathers ruffled, allow me to acknowledge that I am 100% certain that baked spaghetti is not a Texas original, nor is it the only place where it is served. Nevertheless, “baked spaghetti” is decidely a thing in these here parts, appearing at potlucks, pitch-ins, church & school gatherings, and in community cookbooks, to an extent that I would never have imagined imagined. Sometimes it’s in a creamy sauce, other times red, it’s rarely spicy, and is always chock full of cheese. Most of all, it’s cozy, comfort food, fit to be shared with one and all.
So let’s get to sharing, this time with a grain-, gluten-, dairy- and egg-free version, perfectly (and easily) baked in single serving sizes for comfort on the go.
I was inspired to make these following my success with spaghetti fritattas the other day; these are every bit as simple to prepare. Once again, I used chickpea flour spaghetti (made by Banza–I have no connection I just love it because I love chickpea flour, and the pasta is so delicious). If you making these grain-free is not an issue, feel free to sub your favorite gluten-free spaghetti (these days you can fin d alongside regular pasta in most supermarkets).
In place of the chicken or beef that you might find in traditional Texas baked spaghetti (that might be a misnomer; there might be a “traditional” version, all the ones I’ve eaten have been different), I added some cauliflower, my favorite stealth vegetable. I chopped it small and added it to the pasta water during the last minute of cooking for a light blanching.
A chickpea flour batter, coupled with some ready-made marinara sauce, plus a generous sprinkle of non-dairy cheese (feel free to use dairy cheese if you like) tied everything up in a delicious nest of cheese-y, spaghetti goodness.
These beauties are ready for dinner, lunch on the go, or nutritious gnoshing! Just imagine all of the variations you can spin off through the fall and winter. Yum!
Happy eating, everyone! Let me know if you give these a try, including any of your own unique renditions.
- 8 oz chickpea flour spaghetti, broken in half (see notes for options
- 2 cups chopped cauliflower
- ½ cup chickpea flour
- 2 tablespoons flaxseed meal
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1-1/3 cups warm (not hot) water
- ⅔ cup good quality jarred marinara sauce
- 1 cup nondairy shredded mozzarella style cheese
- Cook the pasta according to package directions, adding the broccoli to the pot during the final minute of cooking. Drain and rinse under cold water until pasta and broccoli are cool.
- Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400F. Grease, spray or line all 12 cups of a standard size muffin tin.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the chickpea flour, flaxseed meal and salt. Gradually whisk in the warm water (gradually to avoid lumps). Whisk in the oil and then stir in the spaghetti and cauliflower.
- Divide noodle mixture evenly between prepared cups, pouring any extra batter in the bowl directly over each cup of noodles. Sprinkle tops with cheese.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes until cheese is melted and noodles at edges look browned and slightly crisp. Cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes before running a knife around the edges of the cups and removing. Serve warm or room temperature.
Storage: Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 1 week or freezer for up to 3 months.