Meatball and Ziti Bake

This is a wonderful cheesy pasta that will satisfy your whole family.


1 package uncooked whole-wheat ziti
1/3 cup Panko breadcrumbs
2 Tablespoons minced garlic, divided
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
12 ounces, 90% lean ground sirloin
1 egg
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil, divided
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1-28 ounce can unsalted crushed tomatoes
2 ounces part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat.  Drain in a colander over a bowl; reserve 1/2 cup cooking liquid.  Place panko breadcrumbs, 1 Tablespoon garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt, black pepper, beef, and egg in a bowl, stirring just until combined.  Shape beef mixture into 12-1″ meatballs.  Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat.  Add oil; swirl to coat.  Add meatballs to pan and cook 5 minutes, turning to brown on all sides.  Add remaining 1 Tablespoon garlic, cook 30 seconds.  Add reserved 1/2 cup cooking liquid, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, 3 Tablespoons basil, crushed red pepper, and tomatoes to pan.  Reduce heat to medium, cover and simmer 15 minutes.  Stir pasta into tomato mixture, spread evenly in skillet.  Sprinkle cheese over top; broil 1 minute or until cheese melts.  Sprinkle with remaining 1 Tablespoon basil.

Serves: 4

Recipe from Cooking Light Magazine