Food

Celebrate World Pasta Day With My Healthier Baked Ziti Recipe

I’m not going to eat a pound of pasta in one sitting, but I love pasta and I eat it often. Whole grain pasta in a sensible serving size is a great investment and an important staple to keep in your pantry at all times. If you have the basics, you can always make this delicious, savory comfort food.

Whenever I make pasta with sauce, I always use pasta rigate, which means the pasta has ridges. The ridges hold the sauce to the pasta. On smooth shapes, the sauce tends to slide off.

When you split a pound of pasta between four people, that’s enough for a main-course serving. Add a salad and maybe an additional side dish like roasted asparagus or sautéed broccoli and you’ve got a complete dinner. By the way, this is a great dish to bring to a potluck.

I always try to add vegetables to pasta dishes. It stretches out the pasta – you can eat more food and get more fiber and nutrients with less starch.

Ingredients

– 16 ounces whole-wheat ziti
– 15 ounces part-skim ricotta cheese
– ½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
– 1 teaspoon garlic salt
– ¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
– 1 egg white, lightly beaten
– 2 cups tomato sauce
– 8 ounces shredded fresh part-skim mozzarella cheese (the kind you buy in a tub of water – drain it well before using)
– 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
– 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

(Serves 4)

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Cook the ziti according to the package directions until still slightly firm, or about 8 minutes. You don’t want to overcook the pasta because it will cook more in the oven. If you have a soup pot that can go directly into the oven, use that. Otherwise, while the pasta is cooking, spray a casserole dish with cooking spray.

2. Drain the ziti and return it to the pot. Let it cool. In a separate bowl, mix the ricotta, parmesan, garlic salt, black pepper, and egg white. When the ziti is about room temperature, stir the ricotta mixture into the ziti until everything is combined. Stir in the tomato sauce and mozzarella.

3. If you are using a casserole, pour the mixture into the casserole dish. Or, leave it in the oven-proof pot. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes. Serve warm.

This is an excerpt from The Skinnygirl Dish by Bethenny Frankel, available on Amazon.com

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