As the weather changes into cooler shorter days our bodies crave warming comforting foods like this baked pasta. Typically, baked ziti is absolutely loaded with cheese. My version is not only dairy free, but much healthier than traditional baked ziti, without sacrificing taste and a delicious creamy texture. I have yet to find a gluten free ziti pasta so I used rotini. I decided to keep the name as baked "ziti' because all that differs, in terms of the pasta ,is the shape and baked rotini just doesn't have the same ring. In the sauce you can substitute vegetarian protein such as red or brown lentils or ground meat vegan substitute. As for the vegan mozzarella I highly recommend Forager project brand. I have tried many brands over the years and have not found any to come close to the taste and texture of Forager project (cashew based). Many brands have an odd taste and texture and don't truly melt, so I recommend this brand or the best brand you can find where you live. Preparation time includes the time required if you were making the sauce from scratch. If you are using a prepared sauce you can take at least an hour off the prep time.
Prepare bolognese sauce according to the recipe or use 2 jars of prepared pasta sauce. Boil water for pasta and make sure to salt the water just before boiling and adding the noodles. Cook noodles about 1 minute less than you would typically cook them for or until they are very el-dente.
Preheat oven to 350 F. Layer 1/2 of bolognese/prepared pasta sauce in a large deep casserole dish. Drain cooked extra el-dente noodles and then return to cooking pot, along with butter, parmesan and sliced greens and stir. Layer mixed pasta on top of the sauce, then top with other half quantity of the sauce.
Top with mozzarella and bake in the centre of oven for 30-40 minutes or until cheese has melted.
Serving Size 1 plate