Dinner Idea: Easy Baked Ziti

 by @thecuriouschickpea đź’› Recipeâ €
Makes 6â €
1 lb dried zitiâ €
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4 tsp olive oil, dividedâ €
13oz seitan sausage, crumbledâ €
1 large yellow onion, finely dicedâ €
2 cloves garlic, mincedâ €
1 tsp saltâ €
1 tsp dried basilâ €
1 tsp dried oreganoâ €
1/2 tsp dried thymeâ €
1/2 tsp garlic powderâ €
pinch of red pepper flakesâ €
28 oz + 15 oz whole canned tomatoes, pulsed in blenderâ €
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1 cup cashewsâ €
1 cup waterâ €
1/2 cup melted coconut oilâ €
1 tsp apple cider vinegarâ €
1 clove garlic, peeled and smashedâ €
2 tbsp tapioca starchâ €
1 tbsp nutritional yeastâ €
1 tsp saltâ €
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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.â €
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For sauce:â €
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.â €
Add the remaining 2 tsp of oil and add the onion with a pinch of salt. Sauté 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.â €
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For mozzarella sauce:â €
Add everything to a blender and blend until very smooth.â €
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Assemble and bake the ziti:â €
Preheat the oven to 375 ÂşF.â €
Toss the pasta with about half of the sausage tomato sauce.â €
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.â €
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.â €
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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