Thursday, July 4, 2013

Low Fat Baked Pasta with Spinach

Okay so I will start this post by apologizing that this is my second post in a row without pictures!  But the week I made the carrot cake  and this ziti bake was a crazy one, what with the golf tournament and the last week of school insanity.  So no, there are no photos of this low fat baked pasta with spinach; I promise to be much better from now on.  But I can tell you that part of the reasons is because it was all eaten very quickly!

Rachael was on one of her diets -  she gets on these kicks every now and then - and it was just going to be the two of us home for dinner.  I know that her all-time favorite meal is ziti, so I checked the Skinny Taste blog and was thrilled to find a low fat baked pasta dish - and a vegetarian one, nonetheless!  I stopped at Vincent's on the way home from work and got what I needed, and then went home to whip up some dinner.

It all came together pretty quickly.  While the ziti cooked, I was able to make the sauce, which has spinach, oregano, garlic, and basil to give it lots of flavor - not to mention mozzarella, parmesan and ricotta cheeses!  Hard to believe it's still low fat, isn't it!?  But you use part-skim ricotta and mozzarella, and all the spinach helps to boost the nutrition up there as well.  Mix it all together, pour it into a pan, bake at 375 for a half hour, and you have dinner - dinner at 296 calories per serving, mind you.  As expected, Rachael loved it, and took more to lunch the next couple days.  The rest of my family straggled home one by one and everyone thought it was a delicious meal - even the picky ones!.  The fact that the recipe begins with the words "low fat" can be our little secret.


low fat baked pasta with spinach
from Skinny Taste

servings: 8
calories: 296
fat: 7 g.
protein: 16 g.
Points+: 8 points

12 ounces uncooked pasta such as ziti (I used a pound)
28 ounces crushed tomatoes
1 teaspoon olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
10 ounces frozen spinach, thawed
1 teaspoon oregano
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
salt and fresh pepper to taste
8 ounces fat free ricotta
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded part skim mozzarella
olive oil cooking spray (canola works fine too)


1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Spray a 9x13-inch baking pan with oil spray.

2) In a large pot of salted water, cook pasta according to instructions until al dente.  Drain and return to pot.

3) Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, add olive oil and saute garlic.  Add chopped spinach, salt, pepper, and crushed tomatoes.  Season with basil, oregano, salt and pepper.

4) Add sauce to the pasta and combine the ziti.  Add half of the mozzarella, Parmesan cheese, and ricotta.  Mix well, then transfer to the baking pan.

5) Pour the pasta mixture into the prepared pan and spread evenly.  Top with the remaining mozzarella.

6) Bake for 30 minutes, or until mozzarella is melted and the edges are lightly browned.  Let it cool 5 minutes, then cut it into 8 equal portions.

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