Sunday, June 6, 2010

A Penne for Your Thoughts

This is one dish I make over and over. It’s affordable, easy to make, freeze-able, and tasty. I’ve made it lots of different ways. This time I had vegetables to use up, so I filled it up with zucchini, squash, onions and tomatoes. The basic formula is pretty much the same, just add in whatever you want and enjoy!

Baked Pasta

4 cups cooked whole wheat pasta (I used penne)
1 pound 95% lean ground beef
2 tsp minced garlic
1 zucchini, cut into “coins” and then quartered
1 yellow squash, cut into “coins” and then quartered
½ yellow onion, thinly sliced
4 roma tomatoes, diced
1 cup light pasta sauce
2 tsp dried basil (or fresh if you’ve got it)
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups light mozzarella cheese, shredded

Heat oven to 350°F. Cook pasta and set aside. Brown ground beef in skillet. After 2 minutes, add garlic and vegetables. Cook for 3 minutes. Add spices and pasta sauce. Cook 3 more minutes. In casserole dish, layer pasta, meat sauce and cheese starting with small amount of meat sauce, ½ the pasta, ½ the remaining meat sauce and 1 cup of cheese. Repeat ending with cheese. Bake for 20 minutes. If cheese isn’t browned on top, turn on broiler for 1 minute until cheese is slightly brown and bubbling.

Makes 8 servings. Plugged into my WW recipe builder, it shows up as 5 points.

Building the layers
I've thought about adding some low-fat ricotta cheese to the mix, almost like a lasagna, but it would increase the points. It's good as it is, but I love gooey pasta--this isn't overly gooey.

I made this while my mom was here to visit and she loved it. She said my dad would even like it as long as you didn't tell him what was in it. Funny.


  1. This sounds good -- and it would be nice to make a big batch and then put half in the freezer for later. How long do you reheat for?

  2. Hey Abbie--I have a frozen serving that I'm going to use tonight. I'll time it for you and let you know!