Spinach and Pesto Baked Ziti

May 20, 2011

After my run with Harper and a killer arm workout I came to the conclusion that I deserved something great for dinner. I deserve some comfort food! Comfort food is my all time favorite!

I love anything that reminds me of home whether it’s fried chicken or cornbread. Dinner tonight was another favorite comfort food. Pasta! I could eat pasta for every meal. Especially when it’s made in one pot. That really makes me happy because I don’t have much to clean. Unfortunately this pasta dinner used a few more dishes to prepare, but it was so worth it!

Pasta Is the BEST!

Baked ziti is my go-to pasta dish. I’m not a huge lasagna person, mostly because I’m intimidated to make it, but this ziti is a hybrid of lasagna and baked pasta. The mozzarella, ricotta, spinach, and pesto make it for me! I rationalize that it’s really healthy because it has three vegetables in it, and that’s ok. I had broccoli as a side instead of buttery garlic bread(which was what I wish I had) so I get that credit at least;)

Spinach and Pesto Baked Ziti(adapted from Neeley’s)

  • Salt
  • 1 pound whole wheat ziti(I used rotini this time)
  • 1 pound hot Italian turkey sausage, casing removed
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 8 ounces of corn kernels
  • 6 ounces pesto
  • 15 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 1 (9-ounce) package washed spinach
  • Butter, for baking dish
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella, plus more for topping
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan, plus more for topping

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add pasta and cook until al dente. Drain in a colander.

In a large skillet over medium heat, saute turkey sausage. Add onion and saute until the sausage is cooked through. Use your spoon to break up the sausage while it cooks. Add corn and simmer for 10 minutes.

Add the ricotta cheese, spinach, Parmesan and mozzarella to a large bowl, and stir to combine.

Spray baking dish with vegetable spray, add the cooked pasta, then sausage mixture and cheese mixture. Top with a sprinkling of mozzarella.

Bake until completely heated through and golden and crisp on top, about 20 minutes.


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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 allieksmith May 21, 2011 at 10:31 am

You totally deserved the delicious dinner! I may not deserve it buuuut I think I need to make that. Like right now haha. YUM!! I agree that baked ziti is wayyy easier than lasanga!

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