By Chef Linda
Baked ziti has a special place in my heart. It's been a family favorite for years and when it's made with a quick tofu ricotta that gets stirred in for richness, everybody's happy. But when the weather is warming up and a dish that's heavy with tomato sauce feels like too much, this version is a scrumptious, healthy alternative. Broccoli, cannellini beans, and cherry tomatoes are roasted with garlic and oil while the pasta boils. The tofu ricotta comes together in mere moments and then everything comes together for a quick bake in the oven. (Leave out the ricotta if the beans are hearty enough for you!)
A dish like this is a good reminder that you don't have to get stuck in a rut with the same dishes: simple ingredient swaps are an easy way to make an old dish feel new. And when you're tired of roasted broccoli and tomatoes, try it with asparagus and red peppers!
Roasted Broccoli and Tomato Baked Ziti
1 pound ziti (use GF pasta if you like)
Salt, for boiling pasta and for vegetables
1 head of broccoli, cut into small florets
1 pint of cherry tomatoes (no need to halve)
1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
3 large cloves garlic, very thinly sliced or minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
Vegan mozzarella, shredded
1 (14- to 16- ounce) package firm tofu, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon onion powder
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 425ºF. Line a baking tray with parchment. Place broccoli, tomatoes, beans, and garlic on the baking tray and drizzle with the oil. Toss together to ensure everything is coated. Arrange in a single layer on the baking tray and sprinkle with oregano, chili flakes, and about 1 teaspoon of salt. Roast for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until the broccoli tips are starting to brown and crisp up. Remove the tray from the oven and reduce heat to 375ºF.
While the vegetables are roasting, cook pasta according to package directions.
To make the tofu ricotta, crumble the tofu into a large mixing bowl. Add remaining ingredients and mix well to combine.
Drain the pasta, reserving 1/3 cup of cooking water. Add the pasta to bowl with the ricotta and gently stir. Transfer vegetables from the baking tray to the bowl and toss to combine. Add the cooking water to moisten. Empty the contents of the bowl into a lightly oiled 9- by 13-inch casserole dish. Sprinkle with shredded mozzarella and bake in the oven for about 15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the casserole is heated through. Serve immediately.