Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Baked Ziti

What is better than a warm, healthy meal on a chilly fall night?  Oh right…a warm, healthy meal with wine and friends!  
I made this baked ziti from my mom's recipe, but adapted some changes to make it a little healthier. 

(Serves 8)
12 ounces uncooked ziti
(I used whole wheat)
2 tsp olive oil
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
(I used 2 tsp minced garlic ~ that's what I had on hand)
1/3 pound ground beef
(I used 1 pound lean ground turkey ~ the 99% fat free)
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp salt
 (I used 1/4 tsp)
1/2 tsp pepper 
28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 cup mozzarella cheese
(I do NOT skimp here, as I think low fat cheese taste terrible!)

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  Cook and drain pasta.  Set aside.
3.  Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in the skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and saute for about 2 minutes.  Add ground beef (or turkey) and cook until browned, breaking up meat ~ about 3-5 minutes.  Drain off any fat and set pan back over medium heat.
4.  Add oregano, thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper.  Stir to coat beef (or turkey).  Cook until herbs fragrant ~ about 2 minutes.  Add tomatoes and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes.  
5.  Spoon small amount of turkey-tomato mixture into bottom of 9 X 13 greased dish.  (just enough to cover surface).  Top with half of cooked ziti.
6.  Next, layer with half of remaining turkey-tomato sauce and half of mozzarella cheese.
7.  Layer with remaining ziti and then top with remaining turkey-tomato sauce.
8.  Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese. 

9.  Bake until cheese is golden and bubbly~ 30 minutes.  



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