Baked Penne — Slow Cooker
Feb 15th, 2016 by Alice

Baked Penne

Not a great picture, but yummy!

From Alice

  • Olive oil
  • 2 generous pinches bonito
  • 1 tiny pinch xanthan gum
  • 1.5 lbs sausage (I make mine the same day with oregano, crushed garlic, pepper, thyme, and ground pork)
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper (green is prettier, but we like the taste of red), chopped
  • 1 orange bell pepper, chopped
  • (Or 1 package frozen, shelled edamame and 2 chopped zucchinis)
  • 4 oz (½ container) tofu cream cheese (Tofutti)
  • A handful of fresh oregano, chopped
  • A handful of fresh thyme, chopped
  • 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 package (16-oz) penne pasta, uncooked
  • 15-oz jar tomato sauce


Makes one 6-quart slow-cooker’s worth.

Bring ½ cup of water to a boil. Remove from heat, add the bonito. Let sit for 5 minutes.

Heat olive oil in heavy pan medium-high. Brown the sausage. Remove and set aside. Add the bonito broth to the leftover oil/fat in the pan while heating. Add the pinch of xanthan gum and whisk/stir to combine.

Add in the garlic, onions, and bell peppers. Cook until onions start to soften.

Add the cream cheese and melt while stirring.

When it is all combined, add the oregano, thyme, and crushed tomatoes. Cook for a short time, then add back the sausage. Stir to mix well, simmer 5-10 minutes.

Add penne, uncooked, stir until you can’t see any dry bits of penne.

If you’re already in the slow cooker, scrape everything away from the back wall and add a foil collar. Otherwise, put a foil collar in your slow cooker and oil the pan lightly. Pour in the penne and sauce.

Pour the tomato sauce over the top, carefully covering everything sticking up.

Cook 3 hours on high. Too much time in the “keep warm” stage does lead to crispy pasta.

Tuna Noodle Casserole – Dairy Free, Slow Cooker
Feb 15th, 2016 by Alice

From Alice

  • ½ stick butter, margarine, or other solid fat
  • 4 oz (½ container) tofu cream cheese (we use Tofutti)
  • 4 cups (1 container) chicken or vegetable broth
  • 4-6 Tbsp flour for thickening. (Try Wondra next time.)
  • 3 cans tuna (we use albacore in olive oil to avoid undisclosed “vegetable” broth contamination)
  • 1 bag frozen shelled edamame
  • ½ bag petite baby carrots, diced
  • 1 package penne or rotini
  • Spices of your choice.


This fills one 6-quart slow-cooker.

Chop your carrots and bring a saucepan of water (enough for your pasta) to a boil.

Melt the margarine in a heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat. Add flour to make a roux. Add cream cheese and stir until melted together.

Slowly add chicken broth, stirring, to keep the sauce creamy and well-mixed. Bring to a boil and cook for at least 2-3 minutes to cook the flour.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta, keeping it al-dente or ever-so-slightly undercooked rather than overcooked. Drain.

Add carrots to a saucepan of water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add the edamame and cook according to package directions, erring on the side of too long rather than too short. Drain.

Mix pasta into sauce in slow-cooker pot.

Drain tuna and mix into pasta and sauce.

Mix in veggies.

Cook in slow-cooker on low for 3-3.5 hours. This cooks down any extra sauce and melds flavors. An extra 2-3 hours on “keep warm” won’t hurt it, but you might want to stir it once or twice in there.

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