Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Baked Penne & Zucchini

I have said it before, and I'll say it again, but baked ziti is one of my all time favorite foods. I love it- particularly when it is done right. However, I have been trying to incorporate more and more veggies into my diet so I knew this recipe would be great. The fact that it is your standard baked ziti but also has two layers of zucchini makes it not only delicious but also a healthy choice. I don't know about you but I find zucchini to be very versatile and mild. It doesn't add a strong flavor to the recipe but it does add a nice boost of nutrients.

Source: Green Lite Bites


8 oz whole wheat rigatoni
1 medium –large zucchini sliced thin
¾ cup part skim ricotta cheese
3oz mozzarella cheese (separated)
1.5 cups tomato sauce (separated)
Dried parsley
Black pepper
Non-stick cooking spray

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare the pasta according to package cooking 2-3 minutes less (about 6-8 minutes) as the pasta will continue to cook in the oven.

While the pasta is cooking, slice the zucchini. Spray a casserole dish with non stick cooking spray and place the zucchini on the bottom created a layer. Save some zucchini for the top.

Mix the ricotta cheese, 1 oz of the mozzarella, and 3/4 cup of the sauce. Set aside.

Once the pasta is done, turn off heat, drain and return to the pot. Add the ricotta mixture and stir until all the pasta is coated.

Pour the pasta mixture unto the casserole dish and spread to create a layer over the zucchini. Top with the remaining zucchini, 3/4 cup of sauce and the remaining cheese. Sprinkle with a bit of dried parsley and black pepper. Bake for 20-30 minutes.

** 7 points for 1/4 of the recipe


  1. First time on your blog.
    I do use Italian zucchini quite a bit...however I tend to prefer the lebanese kind due to the fact that they have no center bitterness.
    My father-in-law swears by his Italian there you have it...many more meals ahead with you know what!
    I enjoyed your recipe.
    Thanks for sharing, Claudia