With the weather getting cooler on the East Coast I’ve had comfort food on my mind. This is a great recipe to bring to a fall/winter potluck or holiday dinner. Its definitely on the richer side of things so add a simple mesclun salad with lemon, salt and oil as a side dish.
Spinach-Cashew Ricotta Baked Ziti
1 pound ziti
2 cups raw cashews, soaked at least 1 hour and drain off the water
4 cloves garlic
1 cup frozen spinach, thawed, drain off most of the liquid
1/2 cup fresh basil
1 Tablespoon mellow miso
4 Tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup water, to blend
salt to taste
14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
4 oz can tomato sauce
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
1/3 cup bread crumbs (optional)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly oil an 8 x 12 baking pan.
Cook the ziti according to the directions on the package.
In a food processor blend the soaked cashews and the garlic until the nuts are well blended. Add the frozen spinach, fresh basil, mellow miso, lemon juice and water and blend while stopping to scrape down the sides and blending some more adding more water if necessary. You want a nice thick ricotta. Once well blended season with salt and blend a few seconds more.
Scrape the cashew ricotta into a large bowl and mix in the can of diced tomatoes and 1/2 of the can of tomato sauce. Stir until well combined. Mix in the cooked pasta. Carefully pour the ziti into the prepared baking pan. Pour the remaining 1/2 can of tomato sauce on top. It won’t cover the entire top. Its just to add color. Have fun with it! Top with the halved cherry tomatoes and sprinkle on the optional bread crumbs.
Bake for 25-30 minutes.