Heart Healthy Vegetable Baked Ziti Recipe
Preheat oven to 450°.
On a baking sheet, toss the bell pepper, zucchini, squash, and onion strips with 1 tsp of the olive oil, 1/8 teaspoon of the salt, black pepper to taste and the dried herbs. Roast until tender, about 15 minutes. Set aside. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°.
Meanwhile, in a large saucepan of boiling water, cook pasta over medium-high heat until just tender. Drain in a colander and set aside.
In a large skillet, heat remaining 2 teaspoons oil over medium-high heat until hot. Add chopped onion and garlic and sauté for 4 to 5 minutes, until onion is softened. Add tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until sauce thickens, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt, black pepper to taste and parsley and simmer another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
In a large bowl, mix together cooked pasta, reserved vegetables, 1/2 cup of the mozzarella, 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan, and all but 1/4 cup of the tomato sauce. In a 13 x 9-inch baking dish, spread the remaining 1/4 cup tomato sauce. Pour in pasta mixture and top with remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella. Sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons Parmesan. Bake for 40 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
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About This Healthy Recipe
Baked ziti is a classic Italian meal, and when you fill this dish with vegetables, it becomes a healthy pasta recipe that’s loaded with flavor. The ziti is accented by chunks of roasted summer squash, zucchini, peppers and onion along with flavorful Italian herbs in a vibrant tomato sauce. The vegetables add heart-healthy goodness, instilling the pasta dish with loads of fiber, vitamins and antioxidants. This healthy Italian casserole will be a favorite of kids of all ages, and as a parent, you’ll feel good knowing they’re getting a hefty dose of healthy vegetables without complaining. If you’re watching your weight, you’ll also be happy to know that this low-calorie pasta recipe only has 224 calories per serving. Your heart will also thank you because there is only 2g of saturated fat and 219mg of sodium in each serving – those are some pretty impressive numbers for a pasta dish that’s traditionally smothered in cheese.