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May 2010
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Green Garlic Baked Ziti

If there is one dish that I always associate with comfort food, it’s baked ziti.  There’s just something so darn fulfilling about oven-baked pasta, I crave it constantly, and I’m always looking for good alternatives to the cheese laden version I got started on.  Enter this dish.

Green garlic was the vegetable du jour at the farmer’s market last week, and although it isn’t quite as exciting as the scapes I normally make pesto out of (and can’t seem to find ANYWHERE this year) I knew there was going to be a pesto-like pasta application, and when I saw the block of tofu in the fridge, all I could think was tofu ->similar to ricotta->baked ziti is full of ricotta!.  That was my thought process, and I had my mission.

Photobucket

One requirement for this is that you have a very powerful blender (more powerful than mine) or a food processor to make the green garlic “ricotta”, other than that, everything is easier than you can imagine, so here we go…

Ingredients
Approx 4 cups cooked pasta, ziti preferred
1 block firm tofu
1 large bunch green garlic, roughly chopped
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2-3 tbs lemon juice to taste
1/4 cup chopped sun dried tomatoes
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 cup tomato paste
S+P to taste
1 cup panko crumbs

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 400F. Boil water and cook pasta. Combine ingredients from tofu through lemon juice in a powerful blender or food processor adding S+P to taste. Combine until smooth and resembling ricotta.
2. In a large bowl, combine cooked and drained pasta, “ricotta”, sun dried tomatoes and peas. Pour into an 8×8 glass baking dish, and top with the panko. Drizzle oil over the crumbs.
3. Bake for 20 minutes, or until topping is golden brown.

I thought this was just great all around, and is definitely something that I’ll make again.  My roommate’s reaction?  “What are these…sun dried tomatoes?  They’re good, do that again.”  Note taken…

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