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My family went crazy for this dish. They are great lovers of pasta and the cheese sauce made with three cheeses closed the deal.
The sauce that covers the pasta is so cheesy, rich and full of flavor. Whenever you have three great cheeses like melted mozzarella, fontina, and parmesan, things are going to be just fine. Add some golden onions, garlic, and juicy tomatoes and it's a total victory.
The recipe is easy and you can prepare it up to 2 days in advance and bake it when you are ready.
Makes a sufficient amount that is ideal for planned leftovers. And leftovers freeze well for busy nights when all you can manage is get something out of the freezer. I love having some cards to get out of jail hidden in my freezer.
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Instead of using thick cream in the cheese sauce, I used cashew milk without silk sugar. It is so irresistibly creamy and thick, but with fewer calories than skim milk. Eating more plant-based protein is a big goal, and silk peanut milk or silk almond milk are my milk of choice for baking, shakes, and sauces.
They are so low in calories and fat, they are vegan and dairy free, and I always get impressive flavor results. It is the perfect combination between tasty and blameless.
The lightly browned cheese on top was the first thing to be eaten.
Baked ziti with three cheeses
The sauce that covers the pasta is so cheesy, rich and full of flavor. Whenever you have three great cheeses like melted mozzarella, fontina, and parmesan, things are going to be just fine. Add some golden onions, garlic, and juicy tomatoes and it's a total victory. The recipe is easy and you can prepare it up to 2 days in advance and bake it when you are ready. Makes a sufficient amount that is ideal for planned leftovers. And leftovers freeze well for busy nights when all you can manage is get something out of the freezer.
- 12 ounces ziti, cooked according to package directions
- a 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes (I used unsalted garlic and oregano-infused tomatoes)
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 cup sweet Vidalia or yellow onion, peeled and diced (about 1 medium onion)
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
- a 14-ounce can low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1 Cup of unsweetened cashew milk (You can substitute vanilla almond milk without silk sugar or other milk)
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon of pepper, or to taste
- 4 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
- 4 ounces fontina cheese, grated
- 4 ounces grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon fresh flat-top Italian parsley or fresh basil, finely chopped for garnish, optional
- Cook pasta according to package directions, drain, transfer to large bowl, add tomatoes, and stir to combine.
- Transfer the pasta and tomatoes to a 3-quart baking dish sprayed with cooking spray (you can substitute a 9 × 13-inch baking sheet); set aside.
- In a large saucepan, add the olive oil and heat over medium-high heat to heat.
- Add onion and sauté for about 5 to 7 minutes, or until smooth and lightly browned. Stir intermittently.
- Add garlic and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes. Stir intermittently.
- Add vegetable stock, cashew, flour, and pepper and bring to a boil while whisking almost constantly, or until no flour lumps remain. Bring the mixture to a rapid boil for about 5 minutes and the sauce has reduced and thickened slightly.
- Slowly add the cheeses, whisking constantly to incorporate. After the cheeses have melted, pour the cheese sauce over the pasta on the prepared plate. Cover with foil and at this point you can refrigerate for up to 2 days before baking or bake now.
- When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375F and bake covered (keep foil on) for 40 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until the cheese is as golden and bubbly as you like. Before serving, optionally garnish with parsley or basil. Serve immediately. Additional Ziti will stay in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 4 months. Gently reheat leftovers as needed.
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