Wednesday, September 02, 2009

A lighter baked pasta

Baked Pasta with Sausage, Tomatoes, and Cheese
Cooking Light Annual Recipes 2008 Copyright 2007

1 (1-pound) package uncooked ziti (short tube-shaped pasta) I used Smart Taste Penne, 14.5 oz box
1 pound hot turkey Italian sausage links I used mild lean chicken sausage and added some red pepper flakes
1 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 (14.5-ounce) cans petite-diced tomatoes, undrained
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
Cooking spray
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded fresh mozzarella cheese I used non-fresh part-skim
1 cup (4 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350°.

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain the pasta, and set aside.

Remove casings from sausage. Cook sausage, onion, and garlic in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until browned, stirring to crumble. Add the tomato paste, salt, pepper, and tomatoes, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Combine cooked pasta, sausage mixture, and basil. Place half of the pasta mixture in a 4-quart casserole coated with cooking spray. Top with half of mozzarella and half of Parmesan. Repeat layers. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until bubbly. I just cooked it until the cheese melted.

Nutritional Information Calories:413 (26% from fat)Fat:11.8g (sat 6.1g,mono 2.2,poly g) Protein:24.1g Carbohydrate:53g Fiber:4.5g Cholesterol:49mg Iron:7.9mg Sodium:941mg Calcium:265mg

I was looking for a recipe to use up a package of chicken sausage that I bought on clearance a while back and stuck in the freezer. I found this recipe. It was perfect. I only needed to buy the pasta and tomatoes. I had just enough mozzarella cheese leftover from something else in the deli drawer. My produce-section basil plant was miraculously still alive after several weeks too. I have a very brown thumb and have never had one last more than a week before. This may have been it's last hurrah though. It doesn't seem to be producing much anymore. I got my $2.50 worth. Maybe next year I will start a small herb garden outside.

I was really pleased with this recipe. It wasn't too heavy for a baked pasta dish. This dish called for a lot less cheese than most baked pasta dishes but it was plenty enough. Hopefully I'll remember that next time a recipe calls for a lot of cheese and I'll cut back.

The baby really liked this, my older son not so much. I think it was him and not the recipe. His eating has been very off with the excitement of starting school.

Speaking of my son, food and school, the poor kid has to eat lunch all alone at a peanut-free table since he's the only one in the school with a peanut allergy. The first day he didn't seem to mind, the second day he seemed a little bothered. I made it clear that I'd prefer he didn't eat alone and a small peanut-free zone was fine but I'm not going to fault the school for being too cautious. As any reaction at school would be their responsibility, they should set their own comfort zone. It still hurts me to know that he's eating lunch alone. At least it's only 25 minutes (God forbid they give them an entire 30 minutes to eat lunch).

Question of the Day: Did you buy the school's hot lunch? Brown bag? Go home for lunch? I was a hot lunch kid since I qualified for the free or reduced lunch.


B and the boys said...

When my oldest son was in K the teacher sent home a note asking if any parents would volunteer their child to be a "peanut free friend". Many kids volunteered, parents were given peanut free ideas and it solved the problem of kids with peanut allergies being left out at lunch time. I am glad you are getting such good cooperation from your school in keeping your son safe.

DancesInGarden said...

Many schools here are latex, tree nut, and peanut free schools. Nobody is allowed to bring anything from the list, even if there is nobody currently at the school with the allergies.

When I was a kid (and still now in our city) there are no cafeterias that serve food in grade schools. Some high schools have them, but many just have "catered" items - premade sandwiches, that sort of thing.

If you lived within so many miles of the school you were expected to go home for lunch. We went home, but there were no parents there. When we were younger, our lunch boxes would be piled in the fridge waiting for us. When we got older, we fended for ourselves.

There was always lunchmeat, and sometimes we had canned soup or heated spaghettios LOL. No stove, microwave only allowed. It was a huge wood grain looking thing with an odd ous-and-turn knob to set the time and punch buttons to set the levels ROFL! It was the size of a dishwasher, I swear.

Parita said...

I loved baked pasta and this looks like a perfect meal to me :)

La Pixie said...

I would like to try this dish.

I brown bagged it. once, in second grade, I decided that I liked tuna sandwiches. so I had one for lunch. every single day of the whole school year. my friends still bring that up every so often...

Kim said...

Peanut-free friends are a great idea! I'm surprised the school didn't think of this--it seems they'd be just as concerned about the emotional aspects of a child sitting all alone for lunch every day as they would about the peanut issue. The thought of your little boy sitting all alone makes me sad. :o(

Randi said...

ok, that is sad that he has to eat alone. He's a kid and thats a terrible way for the school to single him out. I hope he isnt getting teased as well. I can't believe the school isnt peanut free. I recently took a flight and we werent allowed to have nuts on the flight because someone on the flight had a peanut allergy.

Lisa said...

I'm catching up on your blog entries and love them! Had to make a comment here. Your son should NOT be eating alone. The teacher should be helping him invite friends who can join him. In Kindergarten especially!