Baked Ziti with Scratch Marinara

 

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What you’ll need:

For the filling:

  • 1 cup of crimini mushrooms, frozen or fresh
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 1 cup of spinach, if desired
  • 1 box of ziti pasta

For the sauce:

  • Olive oil, for sauteing
  • 1 onion
  • 4-5 large cloves of garlic
  • 1 28-oz can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 16-oz can of diced tomatoes
  • Tomato paste
  • A small handful of fresh basil leaves, or 2 tbsp dried basil
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • Salt, to taste
  • Crushed red pepper, if desired

For the “mozzarella,” I used this awesome recipe from the blog it doesn’t taste like chicken: http://itdoesnttastelikechicken.com/2015/01/23/melty-stretchy-gooey-vegan-mozarella/

Let’s get started!

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°  when you’re ready.
  2. First, the sauce. Chop up the onion and mince the garlic. Cut up the basil, as well.
  3. In a saucepan with a drizzle of olive oil, saute the onion and add in the garlic when it’s starting to turn translucent. Sprinkle with salt. If you’re using the crushed red pepper, add it now so it can toast up a little bit. Keep at it until the garlic is fragrant.
  4. Reduce the heat and stir in the crushed and diced tomatoes, and the tomato paste as well.
  5. Season the sauce with the oregano, sugar, basil, thyme, and salt.
  6. Simmer the sauce for at least 45 minutes so that all of the flavors can marry. While that’s cooking, we can get started on the filling!
  7. Cook your ziti until it’s just a little bit harder than al dente. It’s going to be in the oven for a while, so it’s best not to cook it fully.
  8. Once you’ve got your pots bubbling on the stove, chop up the zucchini and bell pepper.
  9. Saute the mushrooms, zucchini, and peppers until they’re tender.
  10. In a casserole dish, combine the pasta, veggies, and sauce.
  11. Spread the “mozzarella” on top and bake at 350°  until the cheese begins to brown and the sauce is bubbling.
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  13. If you’d like, top with cashew parmesan and crushed red pepper.

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Bon apetit!

 

 

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