Thursday, June 21, 2012

Low Fat Baked Ziti with Spinach

Baked ziti reminds me of my dad. It's his dish of choice at most every italian restaurant. My mom makes an incredible baked ziti that confounds all others. However, this recipe is pretty dang great for how quick and light it is!

It sneaks a pretty hefty portion of spinach in there which will always make you feel better about eating a fair amount of pasta. It's not exactly swimming in sauce, so if your guests love extra sauce, do not deprive them, go ahead and double your crushed tomatoes. (My dad lovesss his sauce but I made this for Grades so I stuck with the original recipe) Don't forget to thaw your spinach and then squeeze it dry like your life depends on it. Otherwise you'll have watery ziti, and that would be a travesty!

Low Fat Baked Ziti with Spinach
Adapted from SkinnyTaste

Serves 8

Calories: 332
Fat: 7.1 g
Carbs: 55
Fiber: 7.8
Protein: 17.5

  • 28 oz crushed tomatoes (I prefer Tuttorosso)
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic,minced
  • 10 oz frozen spinach, thawed and squeeze dry
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • salt and fresh pepper to taste
  • 8 oz fat-free ricotta
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan
  • Block of (8 oz) part skim mozzarella, shredded (grate your own cheese please!)
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 lb high fiber ziti such as Ronzoni Smart Taste (I like half whole wheat, half Ronzini Smart Taste)
Add sauce to the pot where your pasta has been waiting patiently. Add half of the shredded mozzarella to the pot, as well as all of the Parmesan cheese and ricotta. Give it a good mix and then transfer it to the baking pan, spreading evenly. Top with the remaining mozzarella.

Pop it in the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until mozzarella is melted and the edges are slightly browned.

Tip: you can make this the day before if you store it, tightly covered with foil, in the refrigerator. Just let it sit at room temp for 30 minutes before baking.

In honor of Father's Day this past weekend, here are a few goofy pictures of me and my dad. Sure I have a bunch of polished pictures of us at my wedding where we're all dressed up or at the beach with our sun kissed skin, but these photos represent my dad in his true, everyday form. It reminds me of the many nights that we stayed up late in our pajamas, eating bowls of cereal or ice cream and just talking about life.

We took these pictures on my mac the very first time I took it out of the package. My dad bought it for me as a college graduation present, and we could hardly wait to open it up and see what it could do. One of the first features we discovered was Photo Booth, and well, I guess you can tell that we had a little fun with it.


  1. I will be having a nightmare over those photo booth pics. I want to try your easy ziti--my basil is out of control--shame you are not here to take some off my hands!

    1. Funny you should mention that...I got so sick and tired of buying fresh basil at 2 bucks a pop at the store every time i wanted it, so Grades and I just bought a basil plant about a week ago. It was all pretty and robust when we bought it, and the next day it just flat out died. I mean, we're still not sure if it's completely dead, but the leaves shriveled up. So we cut them off and are hoping for the best. I'm watering it like it's my job. Oh how I wish I could have access to your healthy basil.