Recipe: Baked Ziti

Here’s an easy recipe that we love. It’s a lot like lasagna, except you don’t have to deal with difficult lasagna noodles. I like to freeze some of the leftovers in individual serving ziploc bags for easy hot meals on busy days.

16 ounces ziti pasta (you can substitute rigatoni or penne)
1 pound ground beef
32 oz. jar chunky garden-style pasta sauce
1 Tablespoon dried Italian seasoning, divided
8 ounces shredded reduced-fat mozzarella cheese, divided
16 oz. container low-fat cottage cheese
2 egg whites
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9″x13″ baking dish with cooking spray.

2. Cook pasta according to directions; drain. Cook beef 6 minutes or until no longer pink; drain. Combine beef, pasta sauce and 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning.

3. Stir cooked pasta into meat sauce. Spread half of mixture evenly in dish. Top with half the mozzarella cheese.

4. Combine cottage cheese, egg whites, 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese and remaining Italian seasoning. Spread over mozzarella in pan.

5. Spread remaining pasta mixture over cottage cheese mixture. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and parmesan.

6. Bake 35-40 minutes or until hot and cheese is golden. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

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