So, of course, I did that. Made gluten free pizza (came out terrific) as I've done many times before... but baked ziti was going to be a little more tricky. You see, I had never made gluten free, dairy free baked ziti before. And when searching for recipes online for it, almost all the recipes called for a vegan ricotta cheese made out of tofu... and the few that didn't, called for cheeses made with a nutritional yeast base. I'm currently out of nutritional yeast, and try to avoid soy if I can help it, so those recipes didn't help me.
What I did have was a package of Daiya brand vegan and soy free meltable cheese that I brought back from the US- but I don't have so much of it (only 4 packages total) so didn't want to use it all up just on the ziti. And I also had some hazelnuts...
I read a reference on a site to a homemade hazelnut ricotta cheese (which used nutritional yeast, but I decided I'd make mine without) and decided to use a combo of the daiya and hazelnut ricotta for my baked ziti. (I ended up using half the package of Daiya for the ziti, and the other half for my pizza.) It tasted terrific and was a big hit! Definitely making this again!
1 package gluten free noodles (I used Sam Mills corn pasta)
1-1 1/2 cups homemade ricotta
1 1/2 cup daiya mozerella- divided in half (alternatively, you can use a different homemade vegan cheese sauce like this one)
4-5 cups homemade tomato sauce
Ingredients for Homemade Hazelnut Ricotta
2 cups hazelnuts
1 cup water
1 clove garlic
2 tbsp lemon juice
1-1 1/2 tsp salt
1. Soak the hazelnuts anywhere between 3 hours and 12 hours. If you soak them for shorter, your ricotta will be less smooth.
2. After soaking, strain, and add the hazelnuts, garlic, lemon juice, and salt to a food processor. Process as much as you can, and then add a quarter cup of water, process for a few minutes, scrape down the sides, add 1/4 cup more water at a time, and scraping down the sides, until you have a consistency you like.
3. Cook the pasta until it is 3/4 of the way cooked, and is somewhat 'al dente'.
4. Mix the pasta with the tomato sauce and ricotta cheese and half the daiya cheese (or vegan cheese sauce). Put it in a baking pan.
5. Top the pasta with more Daiya or vegan cheese sauce.
6. Bake, covered, at 350, for 30-45 minutes, or until all the cheese is melted and it is bubbly.
Are you a fan of baked ziti? How do you make yours? If you're off dairy, what do you use for cheese in your baked ziti? Does this look like a recipe you'd try out?