Friday, February 10, 2012

Baked Pasta- my recipe!

With the birth of our second little girl coming up, I have been trying to double up on some of the meals I make so I can have a stash ready to go in the deep freezer. For some reason it seems like Italian food is more freezer-friendly than some others because I've made meatballs too! I haven't really done casseroles because a lot of them call for canned things and we don't do canned at my house (we will do things in a glass jar though).
This week I decided to do a baked pasta. It is similar to lasagna, but you don't have to fool with the layering so its a bit faster! Also, LJ likes to eat noodles so she will eat more if I make it this way.

Fresh out of the oven, yummy!
Lower Fat Baked Pasta
1 box whole wheat pasta (I used rotini) cooked to al dente
1 glass jar pasta sauce (I used garlic and basil)
1 package of sweet italian turkey sausage, removed from the casing, cooked and crumbled
1 15oz container of low fat ricotta
1 package of shredded mozarella
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese (better to shred real cheese!)
1 large egg
Italian Seasoning (I love the Organic Northern Italian Seasoning from Costco)

...and the easy instructions
-Preheat oven to 75 degrees F
-Mix together ricotta, 1 teaspoon italian seasoning, the egg, and about 3/4 of the bag of cheese.
-In pan, stir together pasta, sauce, and sausage.  Then top with the ricotta mixture and stir gently (you don't want the ricotta mixture 100% incorporated).
-Top with remaining cheese mixed with the parmesan.
-Bake for about 30 minutes or until bubbly and cooked through (remember, the egg needs to be cooked all the way!)
In the oven!
I served it with some Alexia garlic bread- one of my favorite natural/organic brands. I could make my own garlic bread, but this was on sale anyways this week and it was so easy!

Enjoy this simple recipe- I know it was one dish I had forgotten about for a while but its so easy!  It goes great with a nice salad and would be perfect if you need to take a meal to a friend for some reason since it can go from freezer to oven.  I did not pre-bake the one I froze- so it will need to bake longer when I take it out of the freezer but will taste better.  Just include instructions for the person you give it to!

LJ was very pleased...and I think she is having a growth spurt because she ate THREE helpings!
She insisted on trying to use her toy doll fork.  Not a huge success!
I guess we need to make a "feet" rule now...
She can't take my picture any more if I can't see her, right?
...and a self portrait with Mommy's camera.

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