Ellens Baked Ziti

by Rachael Ray Show Staff 3:00 AM, May 8, 2012

Aired May 8, 2012

Serves 6 servings
14 ounces whole-wheat ziti
2 cups jarred tomato sauce
1/2 cup carrot pure
1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
1/2 cup cauliflower pure
2 large egg whites
1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella, divided
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
(For the veggie pure, steam trimmed carrots/cauliflower for 10-12 minutes or until tender, and run through a blender or food processor with a couple teaspoons of water until smooth.)

Preheat the oven to 450F.

Cook the pasta in boiling, salted water a few minutes less than the package instructions indicate so that it will still be firm when baked. Drain and set aside.

Pour the tomato sauce into medium bowl. Add the carrot pure and mix until well-combined.

In another small bowl, combine the ricotta, cauliflower pure, egg whites, 1/2 of the mozzarella, the garlic and pepper.

Spread about half of the tomato sauce onto the bottom of a glass pan or casserole dish. Then add a layer with half the pasta. Spoon the ricotta mixture on top and cover with the rest of the pasta. Top it off with remaining sauce. Sprinkle with the Parmesan and remaining mozzarella. Bake for about 30 minutes, until the cheese starts to brown and the filling is hot. Or, cover with aluminum foil, refrigerate, and bake the next day.