09 June 2011

Baked Ziti

My husband and I have been watching the Sopranos via Netflix over the last few months. Both of us, after watching them devour delicious plates of pasta can't make enough of our own pasta. All I want to do is drink big glasses of red wine and eat copious amounts of ziti. So that is what we are doing. This is a recipe based on one from Your Vegan Mom. A fantastic blog, by the way.

1/2 lb ziti or other type of tublar pasta.
1.5 cup tomato sauce (we use the Muir Glen Pizza sauce)
onion, chopped
garlic, chopped
red pepper flakes

Cashew Ricotta
8 oz soft tofu
1/4 cup whole raw cashews
1 T. lemon juice
dried basil

1/4 c. bread crumbs
2 T. nutritional yeast
1/4 t. salt
1 T. olive oil

Preheat the oven to 400F. Lightly grease a 8x8 glass cooking dish.

Boil the pasta under al dente. It will cook a bit more in the oven, but not too much, so make sure it is almost to your desired tenderness. Drain and set aside.

Sauté the onion and garlic in olive oil until tender. Mix in the tomato sauce, we used about half a can, but please use more if you like it saucier. Add the red pepper flakes to taste. Mix the tomato sauce with the cooked pasta. Put the pasta/sauce mixture in the prepared pan.

Cashew Ricotta
In a food processor, grind the cashews to a powder, then add the tofu and lemon juice. Blend until smooth. Add the salt, basil, and sriracha to taste. It is pretty bland at this point so taste and adjust to your liking.

Mix the bread crumbs, nutritional yeast, salt, and olive oil together. I had to use more bread crumbs in order to cover the casserole to my desired thickness.

Gently mix the "ricotta" into the pasta. Then cover the top evenly with the topping. Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Uncover and bake for about 10 or so minutes more until browned and bubbly.

We did not use enough sauce. I think the pasta absorbed a lot of the sauce during baking and the pasta came out pretty dry. Next time, more sauce!

My husband, even though this gave him wretched heart burn, loved this. I thought it was super tasty and amazingly easy.

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