In an effort to "sneak" some vegetables onto my husband's plate, I thought I might try this. My plan was both a success and failure. A success because he LOVED it! A failure because he exact words were, "Wow, I like this so much better than your other baked ziti." Turns out he has always hated my plain baked ziti (sans veggies) but never had the heart to tell me. Oh well... at least he really like this. And I don't have to force the veggies down his throat. Amen to that.
2 1/2 cups uncooked penne or ziti (regular or whole wheat)
2 Tbsp olive oil
3/4 cup onion, chopped
1 cup red pepper, chopped
1/2 cup green pepper chopped
1/2 cup orange pepper chopped
1/2 cup zucchini, chopped
1 cup crimini mushrooms, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 1/2 cups marinara sauce
1 cup frozen spinach, thawed and water squeezed out
1 cup fat-free ricotta cheese
1/2 cup fat-free shredded mozzarella cheese
non-stick cooking spray
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cook pasta until al dente. Drain and set aside.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add onions and peppers and saute until soft, about 5 minutes. Add zucchini, mushrooms, and garlic. Continue to cook another 5-7 minutes. Stir in basil, oregano, pepper, tomatoes, marinara sauce and spinach. Bring to a boil and then turn heat down to simmer. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
Stir cooked pasta and half the ricotta cheese into the sauce. Transfer the pasta mixture into a 9x13 glass baking dish. Dollop the remaining ricotta cheese on top of the pasta and cover. Bake for 20 minutes. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese oand spry lightly with cooking spray. Return to oven and cook until the cheese has melted.
Yields 6 servings.
flex: 5 points per serving
core: all included if using whole wheat pasta