I love a recipe you can throw into one dish, bake in the oven and do little but wait for the ingredients to fuse and melt together to form one amazing tasting meal.  Take this one-pot pasta bake dish for example.  A traditional Italian recipe using traditional Italian ingredients with a twist by adding peanut butter to the sauce.  The peanut butter gives an earthy, salty flavour which works well against the acidity of the tomatoes, spice of the chilli and freshness of the crusted cauliflower topping.

You can prep this dish in advance, ready for popping into the oven when you return home.

Spiced Peanut Cannellini Bean Pasta Bake with Cauliflower

The Balanced Kitchen
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 servings


  • deep oven proof dish 30cm x 20cm approx.


  • 200 g dried whole wheat pasta
  • 470 mls tomato passata with chilli
  • 470 mls water
  • 1 heaped spoonful peanut butter
  • 1 red onion slice thinly
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 carrots grated
  • 1 tin cannellini beans rinsed
  • 1/2 small cauliflower
  • 100 g baby tomatoes washed, halved
  • 1 TBSP olive oil


  • Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees c.
  • Place the tomato passata, water and peanut butter into the oven proof dish and stir to combine, breaking down the peanut butter with the back of a spoon.
  • Now add the dried pasta, onion, garlic, rinsed beans, grated carrot to the dish and stir all the ingredients together, ensuring the pasta is evenly spread and submerged in the liquid.
  • Next, add the cauliflower florets and arrange the halved tomatoes over the top of the dish.
  • Brush the cauliflower with the olive oil.
  • Cover the dish with foil or a lid and bake for 40 minutes.
  • After 50 minutes, remove the foil and bake for a further 20 minutes until the cauliflower starts to crust and the sauce reduces.
  • Sprinkle with fresh thyme, grated vegan cheese and ground black pepper before serving.
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