Dinner Idea: Easy Baked Ziti

 by @thecuriouschickpea đŸ’› Recipe⠀
Makes 6⠀
1 lb dried ziti⠀
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SEITAN SAUSAGE TOMATO SAUCE⠀
4 tsp olive oil, divided⠀
13oz seitan sausage, crumbled⠀
1 large yellow onion, finely diced⠀
2 cloves garlic, minced⠀
1 tsp salt⠀
1 tsp dried basil⠀
1 tsp dried oregano⠀
1/2 tsp dried thyme⠀
1/2 tsp garlic powder⠀
pinch of red pepper flakes⠀
28 oz + 15 oz whole canned tomatoes, pulsed in blender⠀
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MOZZARELLA SAUCE⠀
1 cup cashews⠀
1 cup water⠀
1/2 cup melted coconut oil⠀
1 tsp apple cider vinegar⠀
1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed⠀
2 tbsp tapioca starch⠀
1 tbsp nutritional yeast⠀
1 tsp salt⠀
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INSTRUCTIONS⠀
Cook the pasta according to package directions, under cooking by 1-2 minas it will continue to cook in the oven. Strain and set aside.⠀
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For sauce:⠀
Heat 2 tsp of oil in a pot over medium heat. Add the seitan sausage and cook until it’s browning, ~3 min. Remove from the pan and set aside.⠀
Add the remaining 2 tsp of oil and add the onion with a pinch of salt. SautĂ© for 8-10 min until the onions are soft and lightly caramelized. As the onions cook, anything stuck to the bottom of the pan from cooking the sausage will lift up.⠀
Add the garlic, salt, herbs, and a pinch of red pepper flakes and cook for 1 min. Add the tomatoes and sausage, cover the pot and bring the sauce to a simmer. Turn the heat to low and cook for about 15 min.⠀
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For mozzarella sauce:⠀
Add everything to a blender and blend until very smooth.⠀
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Assemble and bake the ziti:⠀
Preheat the oven to 375 ÂșF.⠀
Toss the pasta with about half of the sausage tomato sauce.⠀
In a casserole dish, add a couple of spoonfuls of sauce to the bottom of the dish, then add about 1/3 of the pasta. Top with about half of the remaining tomato sauce, then pour about 1/4 cup of the mozzarella sauce over that.⠀
Repeat and layer the next third of the pasta, the remaining tomato sauce, and the next ~1/4 of the mozzarella sauce. Next, top with the last of the pasta then smother with the remaining mozzarella sauce.⠀
Put the casserole dish in the oven and bake for 25-30 min, or until the cheese sauce has browned. Optional: turn on the broiler at the end for 2-5 min for further browning. 

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