Since I’ve recently gone Gluten Free, I’ve been searching for all kind of pasta-replacement meals, and the other day I was craving some baked ziti.  I modified a recipe that I found for caprese quinoa, and came up with the below.  It was pretty good!

Creamy Caprese Rice Bake

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked white rice
  • 2 cups of your favorite pasta sauce, divided
  • 2 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup mozzarella, divided
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes
  • 1 medium sized tomato, thinly sliced
  • 1 large bunch fresh basil, cut into ribbons and divided
  • 1/3 cup ricotta cheese
  • ½ tsp. crushed red pepper
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Heat 1 cup of tomato sauce and tomato paste over low heat in a large saucepan.  Once warm, stir in heavy cream, Parmesan, crushed red pepper, salt and pepper.
  3. Remove from the heat and stir in the rice.  Stir in half of the mozzarella, half of the basil, and the grape tomatoes.  Once combined, spray a 9”x9” baking dish with non-stick spray and pour the entire mixture into the dish.  Top with remaining mozzarella, tomato slices, and dollops of ricotta cheese.
  4. Bake for 10-15 minutes and then turn on broiler for 1-2 minutes to brown the cheese.
  5. Remove from the oven and wait five minutes before serving.  Top each portion with a spoonful of sauce and garnish with remaining basil ribbons.

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