This simple vegetarian ziti is “beefed up” by adding minced mushrooms, which adds and earthy flavor that makes you not even miss any meat! The nutritional yeast adds a slightly salty, cheesy flavor and really rounds out the mixture before topping everything with cheese (vegan or dairy) and baking it to melty, delicious perfection.
I make my marinara sauce from scratch and very simply; sweat diced onions in olive oil or butter, then add 2 cups of crushed tomatoes, 2-3 cloves of minced garlic, and a tablespoon of oregano. Simmer until the onions and garlic are cooked through.
1 pound dried penne or ziti noodles
8 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed
8 ounces button mushrooms
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
2 cups marinara sauce
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1- Cook the noodles until al dente in boiling salted water, then set aside.
2- In a food processor, blend the mushrooms and garlic until a rough paste is formed (no food processor available? Then mince very finely with a knife).
3- Combine the mushrooms, garlic, spinach, and nutritional yeast in a bowl until thoroughly mixed.
4- When the noodles are done cooking, transfer to a large bowl or container and add the marinara and spinach mixture.
5- Stir to combine thoroughly, then pour into 8”x8” baking dish or lasagna pan.
6- Scatter the shredded cheese evenly on top.
If freezing for later use: Wrap tightly and thaw before baking.
If consuming immediately: Bake in preheated 400* oven until cheese is melted and beginning to brown.
To bake after freezing: Thaw ziti in the fridge overnight or as necessary. Place in preheated 400*F oven and bake, 20-25 minutes, until the cheese has melted and begun to brown.