Saturday, January 7, 2012

Baked Ziti ~ A Healthy Version

Jana here with a tasty recipe for healthy Baked Ziti!  One of my husband's favorite meals at an Italian restaurant we go to is the baked ziti.  So I really wanted this recipe to live up to his expectations...and he loved it!  This is, without a doubt, a much healthier version, but is is still full of flavor!  I modified a version that I found on a blog through Pinterest. 

Baked Ziti

10 ounces whole wheat pasta
1 large can crushed tomatoes (28 ounces)
1 cup chopped fresh mushrooms
1 cup reduced fat mozzarella cheese, shredded
2 teaspoons olive oil
4 cloves of minced garlic
1/2 pound of extra lean ground meat (beef, turkey, or deer)
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon rosemary
salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain, and set aside.

2. In the meantime, heat oil in pan, and add garlic.  Saute for approximately 2 minutes.

3. Add ground meat, and cook until browned.  Drain off any fat.  Add oregano, basil, thyme, and rosemary. (also salt and pepper if desired)  Cook for 2 minutes.

4. Add tomatoes and mushrooms, bring mixture to a boil.  Return to simmer, and let cook for 5 minutes.

5. Spoon a small amount of mixture into bottom of 2 1/2 quart (or larger) dish.  (enough to cover the bottom)   Top with half of the cooked pasta, then half of the remaining sauce, and half of the cheese.  Repeat layers one more time (pasta, sauce, cheese). 

6. Bake until cheese is golden and bubbly, about 30 minutes. 


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