Your Homebased Mom
I found many lovely recipes that I'm just dying to try and yesterday when we had the missionaries over I gave this one a shot. (This is my picture before I popped it in the oven - head on over to her site to check out much more appealing pictures of the yummy dish)!
My most favorite part of the dish - you can make part of it the night before. That way when the craziness of life and screaming kids gets in the way I just had to boil the noodles, do a few last minute things, and mix it all up!
Baked Ziti with Spinach and Sausage
This makes 11 - 1 cup servings. Each serving is 8 weight watcher points.
I ate a 1/2 cup (4 points) with a nice size salad and 1 roll and that was plenty for me. Of course I was REALLY wanting more but I maintained my self control :)
1 pound sweet or hot Italian sausages (I used 4 links - sweet)
1/2 C chopped onion
3 large garlic cloves, chopped (I use the already minced kind)
1 28-ounce can diced peeled tomatoes
1/4 C pesto (I used the CLASSICO - traditional basil pesto in a jar because it was the cheapest)
10 ounces ziti or penne pasta (about 3 cups), freshly cooked
4 cups or handfulls of baby spinach leaves
6 ounces grated or cubed mozzarella cheese
1 Cup grated Parmesan cheese
Cook sausage, onion, and garlic until sausage is cooked through. Add tomatoes with juices. Simmer until sauce thickens slightly, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Add pesto. Season sauce with salt and pepper(I ended up forgetting to add any salt or pepper and it tasted fine). You can prepare up to this point a day ahead and refrigerate. Bring mixture back to simmer before continuing (I just stored mine in a glass dish and reheated it in the microwave before moving on).
Preheat oven to 375° F. Lightly oil 13 x 9-inch glass baking dish. Combine pasta, spinach, mozzarella and 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese in large bowl. Stir in warm/hot tomato mixture. Place in prepared baking dish. Sprinkle remaining 2/3 cup Parmesan cheese over. Bake until sauce bubbles and cheeses melt, about 30 minutes.