Baked Ziti

baked zitiWe’ve been watching a lot of Sopranos lately. I’ve never seen it, so it’s completely new to me. Sometimes the people are hard to understand with their heavy New Jersey accents and weird slang even though they’re speaking English. There are two things that watching the Sopranos makes me crave: whiskey and baked ziti.

I hadn’t really thought about ziti much before watching the Sopranos. I think I had it once before I knew what it was at the BF’s parents’ house a while ago. The characters in the show are always talking about baked ziti this and baked ziti that. I finally decided to try my hand at making some, since I doubt there’s anywhere around that makes vegan ziti.

baked ziti

I hope any genuine Italian Americans don’t take offense to my vegan ziti. I couldn’t find actual ziti shapes at the market, so I used rigatoni instead. For the topping/sauce, I used:

  • jarred marinara sauce
  • half a package of soy ground meat
  • a handful of cremini, sliced
  • a medium onion, diced
  • a lot of red pepper flakes

I cooked the diced onion till translucent, threw in the red pepper flakes and cremini, let those brown, and then threw in the crumbled soy meat. I let that all brown in the cast iron pan while I got started on the tofu cheese. The tofu cheese was just crumbled firm tofu, about 1/4 cup nutritional yeast, a handful of chopped fresh basil leaves, and salt to taste.

After the pasta is cooked al dente, I drained it, threw in the topping, stirred it, threw in some marinara sauce, stirred some more, and put it in a baking dish. I then topped it with the tofu cheese and spread more marinara sauce on top to coat, and stuck it in the onion at 350F for about 20 minutes.

The BF said it even tasted like a ziti. But what does he know, he doesn’t even eat cheese =(

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