Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Baked Ziti

Wednesday, February 17, 2010
So I was flipping through my William Sonoma catalog and they always have some of the most mouthwatering food in there.  There was a recipe for baked ziti that sounded pretty good.  Also sounded like it was loaded with fat and calories.  Plugged it into Weight Watchers ( I don't have my dietary software up and running on this computer yet) and it's like 15 points a serving! I decided to alter it.  The original recipe in on William Sonoma's webiste.  But here I have altered it to make it more diet friendly:
Baked Ziti

4 tsp olive oil plus cooking spray
1/4 lb spicy italian sausage (it calls for sweet but I prefer spicy)
1 medium eggplant, cut into 1/2" cubes
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves (I admit I LOVE garlic so I use like 5 but you totally don't have to)
1/2 cups dry red wine (Merlot is pretty good in this)
1 can (28 oz) crushed plum tomatoes with juice
6 oz whole grain ziti pasta (like Barilla) cooked till al dente
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/3 cup rinsed chopped kalmata olives
2 1/2 cups shredded reduced fat mozzarella cheese
salt and pepper
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Position rack in upper third of oven; preheat to 400.  In 10" nonstick skillet warm 1 tsp olive oil over med-high heat.  Add sausage and cook till brown.  Drain off on paper towels (blot some of the grease off if you like).  Leave sausage grease in pan.  Add 1 tsp olive oil.  Add eggplant.  Spray with a little cooking spray if needed.  Saute about 6 minutes till tender.  Place in large bowl.  Warm 2 tsp olive oil.  Saute onion 5-6 minutes till tender.  Add garlic and saute another minute.  Add red wine and bring to boil scraping off any brown bits from the pan (yummy).  Cook 3 minutes (about enough for alcohol to cook off and liquid reduces).  Add tomatoes with juices and simmer 10 minutes.
Add sausage, tomato mixture, pasta, basil, salt and pepper, 2 cups of mozzarella, olives, and basil to bowl with eggplant.  Mix well and then return to skillet.  Top with 1/2 cup of Mozzarella and 1/4 cup of Parmesan.  Cover and bake 25 minutes.  Then uncover and set to broil.  Broil an additional 5 minutes or till cheese browns.  Serves 6.

Once I get my software up and running I'll post nutritional information (of course it will be nutritional information lended by the best of my knowledge.  I studied Nutrition Science in college but I am in no way or form a Registered Dietitian)

It was pretty dang good to tell you the truth.  I am not a heavy meat eater so I dont miss the 1/2 pound of sausage that the recipe originally called for.  In fact the only reason I included it was to leave in some of that savory flavor (that and my husband is sort of a carnivore...whaddaya gunna do)

Anyway, it's made its way into my recipe box.  Enjoy



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