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Cauliflower Baked Ziti

 

This cauliflower pasta isn't a "healthy imposter" it's a true pasta substitute, using real cauliflower with real, functional fiber!  It's the perfect scratch for that pasta itch! 

TIPS: Use 2 heads of cauliflower, roast in advance of assembling to speed cook time. Shred your own cheese to avoid unhealthy fillers.

Fiber, Complete Meal, Healthy Fat

This cauliflower pasta substitute is the perfect scratch for that pasta itch!

TIP: You can blanch or roast your cauliflower before baking with the sauce for a shorter bake time. 

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • 2 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 (28-oz.) can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp. thinly sliced basil, plus more for garnish
  • 2 medium heads cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 1/2 c. fresh ricotta
  • 2 c. shredded mozzarella
  • 1/2 c. freshly grated Parmesan

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°
  2. Wash cauliflower, trim off stem & trim-off cauliflower florets
  3. Boil large pot of water 
  4. Add cauliflower florets to boiling water for 3 minutes to blanche 
  5. In a large saucepan over medium heat, heat oil. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until onion is soft, about 5 minutes.
  6. Stir in garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for one minute.
  7. Add meat and season with salt and pepper. Cook until no longer pink, 6 minutes. Drain fat.
  8. Return saucepan over medium heat and add tomato paste and oregano. Cook for 2 minutes more, until slightly darkened.
  9. Add crushed tomatoes and bring sauce to a simmer, reduce heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly reduced and flavors have melded, 10 to 15 minutes.
  10. Remove from heat and stir in basil.
  11. In a large bowl, pour sauce over cauliflower and stir to combine.
  12. In a large baking dish, place half the cauliflower in an even layer. Dollop all over with half the ricotta, and sprinkle with half the mozzarella and Parmesan. Add remaining cauliflower in an even layer on top, and top with remaining cheeses.
  13. Bake 30 minutes, cover with aluminum foil and bake for an additional 30 minutes.
  14. Garnish with basil before serving.
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