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Baked Ziti

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I make this Italian favorite every year for holidays and special events or for dinner guests. Who doesn’t love pasta all baked to perfection with pockets of creamy ricotta smothered in marinara!

For another favorite recipe check out our White Lasagna (soy free) http://bellavirtue.com/eat/vegan-white-lasagna-soy-free-gluten-free-oil-free/

This is double the recipe!

Baked Ziti

Makes: 9×13 casserole

Cooking Time: 1.5 hours (*not including soaking the cashews overnight if needed)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1.5 lbs (20oz) Gluten Free Ziti or Penne
  • 48oz Marinara (usually 2 jars of store bought) Homemade LINK HERE. **Double this sauce recipe! http://bellavirtue.com/eat/oil-free-marinara/
  • 1 cup Raw Cashews* (NOT roasted and salted)
  • 14oz Firm Tofu (in water/refrigerated)
  • 2 Tbs Lemon Juice
  • 1 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1 Tbs Dried Parsley
  • 1 Tbs Tahini
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
  • Water to blend cashews
  • 8 oz White Vegan Cheese Shreds (optional)
  • Vegan Parmesean (optional) http://bellavirtue.com/eat/vegan-parmesean-cheese/

*Soak cashews in a bowl in water overnight if your not using a high speed blender.

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Pasta: Cook pasta only for half the cooking time on the package. Drain and rinse well. Set aside.
  2. Sauce: make the marinara or you can use your favorite jarred sauce. Set aside.
  3. Plant Based Ricotta: in a blender add (soaked) cashews, lemon, salt, garlic, parsley, and add a little water at a time to make it blend while keeping it thick. Blend a long time until nice and smooth and creamy without any cashew pieces.
  4. In a large bowl, add the drained tofu, plus the cashew blend, plus pepper, more salt to taste, and the tahini. Using a hand mixer, whip together until you get the consistency of ricotta.
  5. Baked Ziti: Preheat oven 400°F. In a 9×13 deep casserole dish, add a layer of sauce at the bottom, then noodles, then blobs of ricotta all over and more sauce, mix up a little, then add a final layer of noodles and cover completely in sauce. Reserve 12 ounces of sauce to serve with the dish after baking. Sprinkle some white vegan cheese shreds on top (optional) with some more parsley for garnish. Cover the casserole tightly. Bake 45 min. Noodles should be done and top should be melted and sauce bubbling on the sides.
  6. Serve with warmed up marinara and some vegan parmesan.
  7. Enjoy!

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