Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Baked Ziti with Spinach

My little sister Heidi told me about this recipe and I was so glad I tried it!  It is super easy to throw together, makes a lot, and is delicious enough to serve to guests.  We enjoyed it ourselves one night, leftovers another, and lunch the last day.  You could cut the recipe in half or freeze half for another time if you prefer.  You can also make it up to a day in advance and keep it in the refrigerator until baking.  I love that it has spinach in it.  Spinach is so nutritious but sometimes hard to get kids to eat.  They won't complain when they're eating this!

Baked Ziti with Spinach

1 lb. uncooked ziti pasta
28 oz. crushed tomatoes
1 tsp. olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
10 oz. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained to remove excess moisture
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 T. dried basil
salt and pepper to taste
8 oz. fat-free ricotta cheese
1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
2 c. (8 oz). shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large pot of salted water, cook pasta to al dente, according to package directions.  Drain and return to pot.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, add olive oil and saute garlic.  Add chopped spinach, tomatoes, oregano, basil, and salt and pepper to taste.

Add sauce to the pasta and combine.  Add half the mozzarella (1 cup), Parmesan cheese, and ricotta cheese.  Mix well and transfer to a 9x13 baking dish.

Spread evenly and top with remaining mozzarella cheese.  Bake 30 minutes, until mozzarella is melted and edges are slightly browned.  Remove from oven and let sit 5 minutes before serving.

Source: Adapted from Skinny Taste

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