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Healthy low-fat vegetable penne pasta casserole

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Penne is an a wonderful tasting pasta choice and it bite-sized to make eating more enjoyable with having to cut or twirl the macaroni during dinner time. This meal is complete with everything you want for a wholesome, healthy and comforting meal that doesn’t take long to prepare for your family. The dish is packed with low and fat-free ingredients and lots of vegetables so you know you will be feeding your family a delicious and nutritious meal.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of whole wheat penne, al dente
  • 6 cups of baby spinach
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 3-4 cups of marinara sauce
  • 1 (14 ounce) can of artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 1 cup of fat-free cottage cheese
  • 1 ½ cups of part-skim shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup of low-fat or part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 teaspoon of oregano
  • ½ teaspoon of pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon of red pepper
  • ¼ cup of Parmesan cheese
  • ½ teaspoon of salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375’.
  2. Cook the penne according to the box instructions and remove from water when al dente, drain and set aside in a large mixing bowl.
  3. In a large frying pan heat the olive oil over a medium-low heat and add the chopped spinach and sauté until it becomes wilted.
  4. Add the sauce, spinach, artichokes into the bowl containing the pasta and toss until everything is coated well.
  5. In another bowl combine the ricotta, cottage cheese and mozzarella cheeses, spices and egg white together and mix well.
  6. Place half the pasta mixture in a baking pan and cover with half the cheese mixture. Repeat the same to add a second layer making sure there is a cheese layer on the top.
  7. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese over the top and bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes until bubbly and the cheese has a slight golden coloring to the top.
  8. Remove from oven and serve while hot.
  9. Enjoy!

Suggestions:

  • Chopped Portobello mushrooms are also wonderful to add to the mix.

© 2014 Beverly Mucha / All Rights Reserved

Jackson residents can shop at any of these local grocery stores: Pick’n Save or Wal-mart for all the ingredients needed for this recipe.

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