February 15, 2011
butternut squash baked ziti
1/2 lb. uncooked ziti or penne
according to the package's directions. Drain and set aside.
I'm giving whole-wheat pasta another try! Thus far I have only liked whole-wheat lasagna noodles, but other whole-wheat pasta products have not impressed me.
2 1/4 cups cubed butternut squash (1/4" cubes)
I used a rice cooker to steam them for about 15 minutes. Make sure they are soft, then set aside.
In a food processor, pulse together
2 oz. cashews
5 oz. okara
a few times, until well incorporated.
To the food processor, add
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. minced garlic
2 Tablespoons maple syrup
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
Now add the cooked butternut squash to the food processor and puree into the mix.
In a large bowl, combine the cooked ziti with the butternut squash mixture and stir until thoroughly combined.
Spread the ziti-squash mixture evenly into an 8"x8" pan.
In a small bowl, combine
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1 tsp. dried sage
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 cup ground walnuts
and stir until mixed. Evenly distribute breadcrumb mixture onto surface of ziti.
Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes, removing the foil after 20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes before serving.
Verdict: I was nervous, but actually quite enjoyed this. I think I would have liked it even better if the squash-to-pasta ratio had been a skosh higher ... And I probably would have liked it better with refined pasta, too, but the whole-wheat pasta was not bad. I probably should have mixed some olive oil in with the bread crumb mixture for extra cohesion, but for some reason I was trying to minimize fats in this recipe.