Lighter Three Cheese Baked Ziti
Servings: 6 Servings
- 4 cups cooked pasta recommended: ziti or penne
- 1 cup part skim ricotta cheese
- 2 cups marinara sauce preferably homemade (see recipe below)
- 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese divided
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese divided
Marinara Sauce (makes about 4 cups)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- ⅓ cup finely chopped onion
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 28- ounce can crushed or ground peeled tomatoes
- 1 6- ounce can tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a casserole dish or 6 8-ounce oven-safe ramekins with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, combine the cooked pasta, ricotta, marinara sauce, ½ cup of the mozzarella cheese, and ¼ cup of the Parmesan cheese. Stir to mix well. Spread the pasta into the prepared dish or ramekins and sprinkle evenly with the remaining ½ cup mozzarella and ¼ cup of the parmesan. Bake until the cheese has melted, 15 to 20 minutes. *Best when eaten immediately.
For the marinara sauce: Heat a large pot over medium heat. Add the oil and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan completely. Add the onion and garlic and saute, stirring occasionally, for about 7 minutes, until browned. Lower the heat if they begin to burn. The more color that develops on the onion and garlic, the more flavor they'll add to the finished sauce.
Once the onions and garlic are tender and caramel in color, add the crushed tomatoes and the tomato paste and stir until the mixture is smooth and well combined.
Add the remaining ingredients (oregano through pepper), stir, and bring the mixture to a simmer. Lower the heat to the lowest setting, cover, and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally so that the bottom does not burn. Serve.
Nutrition Information for 1 serving Baked Ziti:
Calories 431, Fat 12.9g, Sodium: 858.3mg, Carb 56.1g, Fiber 3g, Sugars 0.2g, Protein 22.7g
Nutrition Information for 1 serving Marinara Sauce (about ½ cup): Calories 86, Total Fat 3.6g, Sat Fat 0.5g, Sodium 281.7g, Carb 12.5g, Fiber 1g, Sugars 9.6g, Protein 1.8g
Calories: 431kcal | Fat: 12.9g