I LOVE just about any tomato dish with pasta in it. This ziti has no pasta in it, so it was a surprise to me that it is just as delicious with only meat, cheese and veggies. And it is, like any ziti, easy to whip up, perfect for a Keto meal.
My mom used to make lasagna with cottage cheese rather than ricotta. I still like that down-home taste of Mama’s cooking so that is what my recipe calls for. If you like ricotta better, use that instead.
As usual, this dinner recipe was based on what I had on hand. Instead of ground beef, I used Italian sausage. Instead of ricotta, I had cottage cheese. For crushed tomatoes, I used diced and pulsed them in the blender a little to “crush” them. What I’m trying to say is “Be brave!” It’s easy to substitute items in a recipe, especially if you are cooking to your own taste buds. Don’t let “running to the store” get in the way of your delicious and oh-so nutritious meals.
One last note before you begin cooking- I like to use my deep 12″ fry pan for just about everything but, if you don’t have a large fry pan, a saucepan will work just as well for this dish.
Faked Ziti Keto-style
I made this recipe to fit into my small, 8×8 baking dish because I only had a half head of cauliflower. You can easily double all of the ingredients for a larger dish.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 small onion, diced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/2 lb Italian sausage
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 14 oz crushed tomatoes
- 1/2 head cauliflower florets
- 1 small zucchini, diced
- 1 cup small curd cottage cheese
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
- salt and pepper to taste
1. Fill a large fry pan with about 1/4 inch of water. Bring to a boil, then add the cauliflower and zucchini. Lower heat to medium, cover and steam for about 4 minutes. Remove from pan, drain and set aside while you prep the rest of the ingredients.
2. Preheat oven to 375°.
3. Return fry pan to medium heat and add olive oil. Cook onion until just soft, then stir in garlic and pepper flakes. Cook for 1 minute more. Add sausage, season with salt and pepper and cook until it is no longer pink. Drain fat if needed.
4. To the meat mixture, add tomato paste, oregano and basil. Stir to mix, cooking a couple more minutes to let the seasonings release their flavor. Add crushed tomatoes and bring to a simmer.
5. Reduce heat to low. Simmer, stirring occasionally to reduce sauce and blend flavors even more. It smells so GOOD!
6. In a large bowl, pour sauce over veggies and stir to combine.
7. In a baking dish, layer 1 half of the meat/veggie mixture. Next layer 1/2 of the cottage cheese, 1/2 of the mozzarella and the 1/2 of the Parmesan. Repeat the layers with the rest of the meat/veggies and the remaining cheeses.
8. Bake until the cheese is melted and golden. About 20 minutes.
Let cool a little and enjoy!