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Roasted Cauliflower & Red Pepper Ziti

My kids go crazy for this one. It’s a veggie-packed, grain-free dish that can be used as a side with fish or chicken, or as a vegetarian main course with a side of greens.


2 medium heads of cauliflower, cut into florets, about 12 c

2 tbsp + 2 tsp olive oil

1 c diced yellow onion

3 cloves crushed garlic

2 c sugar-free jar of tomato pasta sauce

1-14 oz can white navy beans (1.5 cups, can substitute another type of white bean)

1- 370mL jar roasted sweet red peppers, drained

1/2+ tsp sea salt

1/4+ tsp pepper

1 tsp paprika

1/2 c packed fresh basil, finely chopped (and more for garnish)

1/2 c ricotta cheese

1/2 c grated parmesan or asiago cheese

1/2 c panko crumbs  *optional


To make:

Preheat oven to 400F. In a large bowl, toss the cauliflower florets with 2 tbsp olive oil and a pinch of salt & pepper. Spread on a baking sheet and roast for about 20 minutes, turning florets once or twice during cooking time to avoid burning. Remove from oven, set aside, and reduce oven temperature to 375F.

In a frying pan, heat remaining 2 tsp of olive oil and add onion & garlic. Cook about 5 minutes or until onion softened. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a blender or food processor, combine pasta sauce, beans, roasted red peppers, salt, pepper, paprika, and cooked onion mixture. Blend until smooth. Stir in the basil (do not process or blend it - or you’ll end up with brown ziti sauce!)

In a lightly greased 9x11 baking pan, layer the cauliflower and 1/4 cup of the ricotta cheese (I use a teaspoon to scoop it out of the 1/4 cup measure and evenly distribute in “dollops”) pour sauce over top, and gently stir to combine. Distribute the remaining ricotta on top, then top with the parmesan cheese.

Bake in 375F oven for 30 minutes. Garnish with a little fresh basil.

Serves 6 as vegetarian main or 8+ as a side dish.



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