Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Easy Baked Ziti

- 16 oz. whole wheat or regular ziti, or other short noodle
- 26 oz red pasta sauce, any flavor
- 1 cup part-skim ricotta or low fat cottage cheese
- 1-2 cups fresh or shredded mozzarella cheese (diced if using fresh mozzarella), to taste
- 1-2 cups raw vegetables such as frozen peas, diced bell pepper, shredded zucchini, or diced cooked meat (optional)
- 2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray a large deep casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.

Cook the noodles according to the package directions until they are al dente (slightly firm to teh bite) and drain them. Return the noodles to the pot and toss them with the sauce, ricotta or cottage cheese, mozzarella, and any vegetables or cooked meat (optional).

Spread the mixture evenly in the casserole dish and top it with Parmesan cheese. bake it, uncovered, for 20 minutes, or slightly longer for a firmer top.

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