Eating

What I’ve been eating this week: Baked Ziti

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I like to make a casserole or other larger dish mid-week because I work part-time in the evenings, and I take the leftovers in with me. I definitely don’t mind a frozen Lean Cuisine every now and then, but for dinner, I appreciate something a little more hearty, and something homemade.

This baked ziti was surprisingly filling. The portion size was generous, although with my adjustments this comes in at 8 Points+ per serving. I planned the rest of my points around the fact I knew I’d be eating this for dinner, and came in right on target. I hope you like it as much as my family did!

Baked Ziti, adapted from LaaLoosh

1 lb Ronzoni Smart Taste Pasta
4 sprays olive oil
½ yellow onion, finely chopped
4 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 lb extra lean ground beef
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp rosemary
Salt and pepper to taste
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
½ cup chopped mushrooms
1 ⅓ cup fat free mozzarella cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 350°. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, spray oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat; add onions and garlic and sauté two minutes. Add beef and cook until browned, breaking up meat with a spoon as it cooks. Drain off fat and set pan back over medium heat.

Add the oregano, basil, thyme, rosemary, and salt and pepper. Cook another two minutes. Add the tomatoes, sauce, and mushrooms. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for five minutes.

Spoon a small amount of the beef-tomato mixture into the bottom of a 9×13 casserole dish (just enough to cover the surface); top with half the cooked pasta. Next, layer with half of the remaining beef-tomato mixture and half the mozzarella cheese. Layer with the remaining pasta and then top with remaining beef-tomato mixture; sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese. Bake until cheese is golden and bubbly, about 30 minutes. Cut into 8 pieces.

Serving size is 1 piece, or ⅛ of casserole. 8 Points+ per serving.

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