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Zesty Ziti Salsa Verde Salad

  • Prep Time 20 min
  • Cook Time 45 min
  • Servings 6-8


Salsa Verde: Part One

  • 2 c. Basil Leaves
  • 2 c. Mint Leaves
  • 4 cloves Garlic, peeled
  • 1 Bird’s Eye Chili
  • 4 tbsp Capers, drained
  • 1/2 Small Onion, sliced
  • 4 tbsp Water


Salsa Verde: Part Two

  • 1 c. Simply Simple Vayonnaise (or your fave vegan mayo)
  • Juice from 1/2 a Lemon
  • 2 tsp Chili-Garlic Sauce
  • Salt, to taste


Shiitake Mushrooms

  • 1 lb Shiitake Mushrooms, stemmed and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 4 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 3 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 tbsp chopped Garlic
  • Salt + Pepper, to taste

Roasted Pumpkin

  • 2 c. Pumpkin or Butternut Squash, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste


Crispy ‘Cheese’

  • 1 bag Daiya Spicy Monterey Jack Shreds


To Serve

  • 1 box Bentilia Ziti
  • Baby Spinach Leaves, to garnish
  • Thinly Shaved Shallots, to garnish


  1. Blend everything from part 1 together in a high-speed blender or food processor until fairly smooth, but still with some texture to it.
  2. Scrape into a bowl, and add everything from part 2, stirring together until incorporated.
  3. For the Shiitake Mushrooms, heat the olive oil in a non-stick pan.
  4. Add the mushrooms and saute, stirring often, until golden-brown and tender, 8-10 minutes.
  5. Remove from the heat and add the balsamic, garlic, and salt and pepper. Stir together.
  6. For the Roasted Pumpkin, preheat your oven to 425 degrees F.
  7. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  8. Place the pumpkin cubes in a large bowl. Add the oil and salt/pepper and use a large spoon or your hands to evenly coat the pumpkin chunks.
  9. Arrange the pumpkin cubes in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Bake them until tender, about 30 minutes, tossing them halfway through.
  10. For the Crispy Cheese, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  11. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Lightly scatter some shreds over the parchment, leaving lots of space.
  12. Bake for 13-15 minutes until golden brown, rotating the pans halfway through.
  13. Let cool completely to harden into crisps.
  14. Cook the pasta according to package instructions.
  15. Place 4 tablespoons of salsa verde onto a plate, add 1/2 c. of cooked Ziti on top, scatter 2 tbsp of pumpkin and 2 tbsp of mushrooms over top, and finish with the cheese crisps, spinach leaves, and shallots.


Crafted for Bentilia by Toronto’s very own, chef Luke Hayes.