Better Baked Ziti
Welcome to 2020! I know many of you made resolutions to eat healthier, and for me that largely involves ensuring I sneak more vegetables into as many dishes as I can. This ziti is packed with vegetables but still tastes cheesy and inviting. If you’re not a fan of the veggies I included swap out with your favorites.
- 8 ounces dried short pasta
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 sweet bell pepper, any color but I used yellow, diced
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 4 scallions, sliced
- Salt and pepper
- 2-4 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 cups fresh spinach, cooked, squeezed dry, and chopped
- 2 cups marinara sauce, divided
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- Cook the pasta according to package directions in heavily salted water, but reduce cooking time by 2 minutes. While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat and add the pepper, onion, and scallions. Season with salt and pepper and cook until slightly softened, about 4 minutes, then add the garlic and cook for one more minute.
- Combine the cooked vegetables with the chopped spinach in a large bowl. Drain the pasta and add to the bowl, along with 1 cup of the marinara sauce and stir to combine. Fold in the ricotta cheese and pour the mixture into a greased 9x13 inch glass baking dish.
- Drizzle the remaining marinara on top of the pasta and smooth with a spatula. Sprinkle the mozzarella over the top, then cover with a greased sheet of foil (so it doesn't stick to the cheese) and bake for 45 minutes at 374 degrees.
- Serve smaller portions with meatballs or larger portions as a vegetarian entree.