You can have your comfort food and eat your vegetables, too! Try this healthy, vegan baked ziti featuring almond ricotta, sausage, onion, mushrooms, red pepper, and collards (or leafy green of your choice). Easily made oil-free and/or gluten-free.
Preheat a large sauté pan over medium-low heat. Add the tablespoon of oil, if using. Cook the onion until translucent, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and red pepper, and cook until the mushrooms have released their liquid. Add the garlic, sausage, oregano, and a generous pinch of salt. Cook 4 to 5 minutes more or until the sausage is hot.
Cook the pasta:
Fill a large pot with water and cook pasta according to package directions, setting a timer. With two minutes left on the timer, add the collard greens/kale to the pasta pot. Drain in a colander.
Assemble the baked ziti:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Scoop about half of the pasta/greens into a 9x13 casserole dish. Top with half the marinara. Gently spread the marinara around so that the pasta is well covered. Add dollops of the ricotta on top off the sauce, using about half of it. Spoon the sautéed vegetable mixture onto the ricotta layer. Add black pepper, if desired. Then repeat the layers: pasta, sauce, ricotta, vegetables, black pepper. Ensure any exposed pasta is covered with sauce.
Bake uncovered 25 to 30 minutes. Top with Vegan Cheesy Sprinkle and bake 5 minutes more or until the center of the ziti is hot. Garnish with more cheesy sprinkle (or shredded vegan mozzarella) and fresh basil.