I took a traditional family recipe and put my own nutritious spin on it to create this casserole. The chopped spinach and turkey pepperoni add color and flair, pleasing both the eyes and the palate. —Andrea Abrahamsen of Brentwood, California
- 1 package (1 pound) uncooked ziti or small tube pasta
- 1/2 pound lean ground turkey
- 2 cans (one 29 ounces, one 8 ounces) tomato sauce, divided
- 1-1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
- 1 can (8 ounces) mushroom stems and pieces, drained
- 5 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
- 1/2 cup reduced-fat ricotta cheese
- 4 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
- 1-1/2 ounces sliced turkey pepperoni
- Cook pasta according to package directions.
- Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet, cook turkey over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Transfer to a large bowl. Add the 29-oz. can tomato sauce, 1 cup mozzarella cheese, mushrooms, spinach, ricotta cheese, Italian seasoning, garlic, garlic powder, pepper flakes and pepper. Drain pasta; fold into turkey mixture.
- Transfer to a 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish coated with cooking spray. Combine the water and remaining tomato sauce; pour over pasta mixture. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and remaining mozzarella cheese. Top with pepperoni.
- Cover and bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until bubbly. Uncover; bake 5 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Yield: 10 servings.
Originally published as Pepperoni Ziti Casserole in Light & Tasty April/May 2003, p39
Medium-Bodied Red Wine
Enjoy this recipe with a medium-bodied red wine such as Chianti, Sangiovese, Malbec or Zinfandel.
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