Who doesn’t love a plate of gooey cheesy baked pasta?  It’s comfort food at it’s finest, and often at it’s fattest!  But not to fear we have Shredded this recipe down so you can enjoy a warm plate of wonderful that won’t weigh you down the next day!  Tasty enough for company, but simple enough for a weeknight!  Remember the trick used here and apply it to other recipes- always make sure you have at least twice as many veggies than you do pasta to keep the nutrients high and the carbs and calories low!

Serves 6-8

Active cooking time, 20 min

Total cooking time, 1 hour

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Shopping List

  • 8-10 oz short tube pasta, like rigatoni
  • 1 recipe of Shred and Sparkle homemade tomato sauce, or 2 jars of your favorite brand
  • 1 package sliced mushrooms
  • 2 heads of broccoli, cut into bite size florets
  • 1 bunch asparagus, cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 small container low fat ricotta cheese
  • 1 container of small fresh mozzarella balls (bite sized, or if bigger cut up)
  • 1/2 C grated parmesan
  • 1/2 C chopped basil
  • olive oil, salt, pepper

Directions

  1. Saute mushrooms in 1 t olive oil till browned and soft over high heat, seasoning with salt and pepper, remove and put in large bow, including juices.  If you are making tomato sauce, use the same pan and let it simmer while you finish the rest of the recipe.
  2. Preheat oven to 375.
  3. Blanch broccoli and asparagus separately in boiling water till bright green but still quite crisp, drain and add to bowl with mushrooms.
  4. In same water, cook pasta one minute less than the package directions, drain and add to bowl.
  5. Add the ricotta, mozzarella, basil, and all the sauce, mix well.
  6. Transfer the pasta mixture to a large baking dish (spray dish with cooking oil to make clean up a snap), 9 by 13 or equivalent.  Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.  Bake in oven for 30-40 minutes, until browned and melted.
  7. Let stand 10-15 minutes before serving.

Tip: Make sure you slightly undercook the veggies and the pasta to avoid a mushy final product.  Remember that your veggies will continue to cook when you remove them from the boiling water, especially if they sit for too long piled in a bowl.  Everything should be cut to the same size and “al dente” when it goes in the oven!