Friday, August 5, 2011

The Almost-Lasagna Pasta Bake

* I was originally going to post this last night, but I didn't get the chance. A close family friend recently passed away and my mom and I are getting on a plane today to go to the funeral - so I will be gone from the blogosphere until Sunday. But I will still be tweeting! And now I have to get packing - enjoy the recipe!

I love grocery shopping. Since my mom has gone back to work full time, I've become the main dinner cook and grocery shopper. And I love it (though I miss my momma's company!)!!

Today while I was shopping I picked up some ingredients for a yummy italian pasta dish that popped into my head while I was in the store. It's pretty much like a lasagna, but without the lasagna noodles! Very homey, cheesy, and comforting - but also healthy!

The Almost-Lasagna Pasta Bake
serves 6-8 people

You will need:

  • 1 box pasta (1 lb)
  • 1 lb lean ground turkey
  • 1 cup frozen (or fresh) spinach
  • 1 jar tomato basil pasta sauce
  • 1 cup part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese 
  • 1 tsp Italian seasonings
  • ~1 cup breadcrumbs (I made my own with a stale bun)
  1. Cook pasta for 1-2 minutes less than the directions on the package. Just before draining, add spinach and cook for 1 minute. Drain pasta and place back in pot. 
  2. Brown turkey meat and drain (gets rid of extra fat). Add turkey to pasta/spinach mixture along with the jar of pasta sauce. 
  3. In a separate bowl, mix 1/2 cup of the mozzarella, the parmesan, ricotta, and seasonings. 
  4. Spray a 9x13 pan with non stick cooking spray and pour in half of the pasta mixture. Crumble the cheese mixture over the pasta and cover with the rest of the pasta. 
  5. Top with remaining mozzarella cheese and breadcrumbs. 
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted and the dish is heated through. 
  7. Enjoy!

I refrigerated it before I baked it since I made it a few hours before dinner - just before baking I mixed together a little warm water and leftover tomato sauce and poured it around the edges of the dish to keep it moist since it had dried out a little in the fridge. 

I immediately took two servings out of the dish and placed them in containers so they could cool and I could refrigerate them for leftovers sometime later this week. I <3 leftovers!!

My plate:

Although my portion fell apart a little, I think it would've stayed together if I'd used a better serving utensil (I used a regular old spoon cause I couldn't find a big spatula).

This was an excellent dinner! Super cheesy and flavorful, just the way I like it. I love the flavors of lasagna and this dish turned out really well. 
Dessert was some more of this awesome Stonyfield chocolate froyo with sprinkles and cookie crumble. Sprinkles make everything good even better, I swear! 


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