Baked Ziti with Spinach and Roasted Garlic Cauliflower Sauce
This is a take on a recipe from last summer and a dish I had at a local café. I liked the idea that the cauliflower was created into a sauce, the dish I had at the café was Vegan but when I made it at home I used Sheep Diary and it was so much creamier – I gave you the option below – Enjoy
1 head of Cauliflower, cut-up into small florets and large stems removed
1lb. Ziti, cooked as directed
1 bunch of baby spinach
2 pints of mushrooms of choice, sliced
4 cups homemade veggie stock, unsalted
1 cup of Almonds or Pistachios
1 cup of shredded Manchego Cheese, sheep – optional
1 cup of Romano Cheese, sheep – optional
1 lemon, juiced and zested
2 heads of roasted Garlic, removed from skins †
2/3 cups of either Sheep’s milk or Almond milk, unsweetened
2 tablespoons sheep’s butter or earth balance
2 to 3 tablespoon nutritional yeast
Handful of fresh Italian Parsley, chopped and stems removed
4 sprigs of fresh Thyme, stems removed
Salt & Pepper to Taste
† I roasted a bunch of garlic a head of time and reserve it in jars cover in olive oil.
Note: You can use some of the Nut Cheeses in place of the Sheep Cheese to keep it Vegan.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss the cauliflower in oil, spread out on baking sheet and roasted for about 20 to 30 minutes or until it starts to char. Remove and transfer to a stock pot along with the veggie stock, bring to a boil, reduce and simmer for 25 minutes. Drain, reserve the stock. Place cauliflower in the blender, along with the milk (which ever one you are using), I cup of the reserved veggie stock, the garlic, butter, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Blend until smooth, if too thick add more stock. Whisk in fresh herbs just before adding to pasta.
Place the nut of choice, yeast, salt and pepper into a food processor and pulse until coarse.
While pasta is cooking, sauté the mushrooms in a bit of the veggie stock until tender. Remove from heat.
Place Cauliflower sauce in a large bowl, followed by the hot pasta and spinach and toss to coat.
Transfer to a deep baking dish, top with Manchego cheese and bake for about 20 minutes until cheese is nice and golden, garnish with nut mixture – enjoy.