This recipe makes two batches of ziti—one for tonight’s dinner and one for freezing.
Active time: 35 minutes
Total time: 1 hour
1 pound whole wheat ziti
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup finely chopped yellow onion
½ cup finely chopped red bell pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 28-ounce can or carton crushed tomatoes
½ cup water
1½ teaspoons salt, divided
2 cups ricotta cheese
1 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well-drained
½ cup Parmesan cheese
1 medium zucchini, grated
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Freshly ground pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly coat two 8-by-8-inch baking pans with cooking spray.
- In a large pot over high heat, cook the ziti in boiling water until tender. Drain and return to the pot.
- Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and bell pepper. Reduce heat to medium-low and sauté until soft, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes, water, and 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes.
- Add the tomato sauce to the ziti, along with the ricotta, spinach, Parmesan, zucchini, and ½ teaspoon salt. Stir to combine.
- Divide the pasta between the two prepared pans. Top with the mozzarella. Add freshly ground pepper to taste.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until cheese is lightly golden. Let sit for 5 minutes before serving.
- TO FREEZE: Complete ziti preperation through step 5. Cover with aluminum foil and freeze for up to three months. To cook: transfer covered frozen ziti directly from freezer to 375°F oven. Bake for 90 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes until golden.
calories 654, fat 19 g, protein 28 g, carbohydrates 93 g, dietary fiber 13 g