Remember baked ziti from those super cheapo fast Italian food places? Well, now that we finally have meltable and gooey vegan mozzarella that works (Daiya®), a vegan version of this classic is now possible and it won’t suck.
And it’s just as gooey, messy, sloppy, juicy and hard to clean out of the pan as the non-vegan versions. BUT don’t burn it like I did!
SnarkyVegan’s Baked Eggplant Ziti, with Spinach
This is a two-part recipe unless you’re using premade pasta sauce in a jar. And a lot of the ingredients can be grown in your own garden, keeping it more local and organic.
- 3 cups of cubed eggplant (about 1 regular eggplant or several skinny Asian eggplants)
- 1 medium diced onion
- 6-8 ounces boiled pasta, a little less than al dente, penne or rigatoni style works well
- 1/2 cup pitted and chopped kalamata olives
- 16 ounces Daiya® mozzarella, shredded
- simple tomato sauce per below or 2 big jars pasta sauce*
- 2 cups of fresh spinach
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Spoon a smear of sauce in the bottom of a DEEP 9×13 casserole or a very large cast iron skillet. Cast iron provides additional iron in your diet so this was my choice as you can see in the photos.
- Start layering remaining ingredients in this order: half of the pasta, eggplant, onion, spinach, olives, cheese, sauce. Create one more layer of the other half of these ingredients, topping with a sprinkling of cheese.
- Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour at 350F. Check it at about 30 minutes and if it’s starting to dry out, cover with foil for the remainder.
*Simple Tomato Sauce
- drizzle of olive oil
- 2 large cans crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce
- ¾ cup red wine
- 4 cloves crushed garlic
- 2 t. dried oregano
- 2 T. dried basil
- salt and fresh ground black pepper
- Saute garlic in oil until translucent.
- Add remaining ingredients and simmer while stiring for 15 minutes. It will cook further in the ziti.
July 26, 2011 at 5:20 pm
Ooo, when my eggplants come in I’m gonna try this.
July 26, 2011 at 10:29 pm
Try to use the eggplants young so the skins are more tender. A few of mine were older and I’m too lazy to peel. But I should have.
July 28, 2011 at 9:05 am
Hi! I recently discovered your blog and I love it!
I tried out this recipe last night. I modified it a little, though (not that your recipe didn’t sound delicious as is, I just like to get a little creative sometimes!). I was out of kalamata olives, so I used manzanilla olives instead, which added a nice flavor. Also, I whipped up a batch of tofu ricotta and added that, as well. Instead of layering all the ingredients, I mixed everything together in a big bowl, then dumped it into a casserole dish and topped it with the Daiya. It was creamy, hearty and delicious! Even my husband (not vegan or even vegetarian) enjoyed it!
Thanks for the great recipe!
August 4, 2011 at 11:56 am
Y’kno, I’ve never tried tofu ricotta. I feel like I’m missing out big time. Must put that on the list. Thanks!
August 9, 2011 at 7:29 pm
Oh, c’est bon… just made this (with zucchini instead of spinach) and it’s real good, lady. I also didn’t have enough cheese so I made due with 10 ounces, half-half Follow Your Heart and Daiya mozza.
August 22, 2011 at 9:22 pm
How did the follow your heart work?
August 25, 2011 at 12:56 pm
Oh wow, does this look amazing!!