Chop or pull apart shiitake mushrooms into small bits
Chop sweet peppers and chili peppers – I used my small Kitchenaid food processor for this
Make the ricotta (vegan tofu ricotta recipe) – same food processor can be used for this step — I also chopped 2 c spinach in the food processor first and then transferred to a bowl to which I mixed in the prepared tofu ricotta to make spinach ricotta
Preheat oven to 400ºF
Drain pasta into a colander
Use the hot pasta pot to cook the veggies – add 1 Tbsp olive oil and heat on medium heat then add the mushrooms, peppers, and 1 Tbsp minced garlic. Cook through for about four minutes.
Add 1/2 can chopped tomatoes to the veggies. Season with 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper..
Puree rest of tomatoes – again, used the food processor
Add pureed tomatoes to the pot. Season with 2 tsp cumin powder, 1/2 tsp red chili powder, 1/4 tsp cinnamon powder, 1/4 tsp black pepper, 1/4 tsp salt, 1 tsp red pepper flakes, and 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast. Mix through. Heat through for a couple minutes
Add pasta and 2 tsp olive oil (to help break apart the pasta) to the sauce mix
Season with salt and pepper to taste
I baked some asparagus at this step — toss asparagus spears with 1 tsp olive oil and 1 tsp minced garlic and then arrange in a layer on a baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes at 400ºF
Lightly oil a baking pan
Layer the ingredients:
Spoon 2 Tbsp pasta sauce onto the bottom (I used bottled tomato basil sauce for this)
Spoon 2 c pasta to create a layer of pasta
Spoon dollops of 1/4 c ricotta on top and spread over the pasta layer
Spoon another layer of pasta onto the ricotta layer. Sprinkle vegan mozzarella onto this layer (I used Daiya Mozzarella style shreds for this)
Dollop 2 Tbsp sauce over this layer
Add another layer of pasta
Spread ricotta onto the last layer of pasta
Bake for 10 minutes at 400ºF. The asparagus and pasta were done at the same time.
Mix the pasta around to get all the melty layers to mix into the penne
I cut the asparagus into thirds and added it to the pasta