Vegetarian pasta dish packs flavor without the calories
Pasta is a dinnertime favorite. Make this dish your family’s go-to pasta recipe and feel confident you are serving a healthy, flavorful dish. Use vegetarian crumbles in place of ground beef or sausage to lower calories and saturated fat while packing plenty of protein and fiber.
Veggie Pasta Bake
Makes 8 servings
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ white onion, diced
12-ounce package vegetarian crumbles (use your favorite meat alternative product)
2 cups raw spinach, chopped
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes (optional)
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
15-ounce can tomato sauce
2 cups water
3 cups dry (uncooked) whole-wheat pasta, such as rigatoni
8 ounces mozzarella balls
½ cup parmesan cheese
Heat your oven to 400 degrees. In a large pan over medium-high heat, sauté the onion in olive oil. Add the vegetarian crumbles. Add spinach, rosemary, red pepper flakes and garlic, and sauté until the spinach wilts.
In a small bowl, mix the tomato paste, vinegar and brown sugar, and add to the pan. Add the tomato sauce, salt, water and pasta. Bring to a low boil for 10 minutes.
If your pan is oven safe, top the pasta mixture with mozzarella balls and parmesan cheese, and place in the oven. If you are not using an oven-safe pan, transfer the pasta mixture to a 9-inch pie pan, then top with mozzarella balls and parmesan cheese, and place in the oven. Bake for 25 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
Nutrition information per serving
271 calories, 9.2 g fat, 4.5 g saturated fat, 674 mg sodium, 28 g carbohydrate, 5.3 g fiber, 17.4 g protein