Boil a large pot of water and add penne. Cook for 5 minutes until al dente (still firm). Drain and add to a large mixing bowl.
Squeeze excess water from defrosted chopped spinach and add to pasta.
In a medium size saucepan, whisk together milk, flour, pepper, garlic powder and nutmeg. Heat on medium low, stirring constantly until mixture begins to bubble. Increase heat to medium and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens. Remove from heat and add ricotta and parmesan. Stir until cheeses are melted. Add salt to taste.
Add cheese mixture to penne and spinach and cool for about 20 minutes.
Stir in egg substitute.
Coat a 8” springform pan with cooking spray. Spoon in quiche mixture and cover with foil. Bake for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 10 – 15 minutes until golden brown.
Run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen penne. Let stand 20 minutes. Remove from pan and serve.
Most families have traditional holiday meals that usually stem from their ethnic background and my family is no exception. Coming from a Greek American background, our Easter dinner usually consists of roasted lamb with orzo, Greek salad, spinach pie, pastsio and rice pudding for dessert. Here is a recipe I’d like to share with you that lightens up a traditionally very heavy dish.
Pastitsio – Greek Style Baked ziti with meat
Preheat Oven 350o
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook & Bake Time: 50 – 60 minutes
Estimated Values per Serving:
Calories: 420 Fat: 7 grams
½ pound ziti pasta
1 onion – chopped
1 clove garlic – minced
½ pound ground sirloin
½ pound ground turkey breast meat
Salt and pepper
½ cup white wine
1 cup tomato sauce
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
½ cup egg substitute
1 cup fat free half and half
2 cups skim milk
½ cup flour
¾ cup egg substitute
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
Bring a large pot of water to boil and add ziti, cook for 5 minutes until al dente (firm). Drain ziti and rinse with cold water. Spoon into a bowl and set aside.
Make the meat filling: Heat a large skillet on medium low heat, coat with cooking spray and add onion. Cook for about 5 minutes until softened and browned. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute.
Increase the stovetop burner heat to medium high and add ground beef and turkey and sauté for about 7 minutes until the meat is cooked and browned. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Add white wine and cook until all the liquid has absorbed. Add tomato sauce and heat for about 2 minutes. Spoon meat filling into the bowl with ziti and cool while preparing the cream sauce.
Make cream sauce: In a large pot, whisk together half and half, milk, flour, egg substitute and nutmeg. Heat the stovetop burner on medium low, stirring constantly, until mixture is bubbly and thick. Remove from heat and stir in 1/3 cup parmesan cheese. Set aside.
Once the meat mixture is cooled, add the ¼ cup parmesan cheese and ½ cup egg substitute.
To assemble: Coat an 8 X 12 inch baking pan with cooking spray. Spoon meat and ziti mixture on the bottom. Spread the cream sauce on top.
Cover and bake for 45 minutes. Allow to cool for at least 15 minutes before cutting and serving.
Years ago, when I first met my husband, he would talk endlessly about how his mother would make “macaroni and gravy” every Sunday night for dinner. When I first heard of this, I thought it sounded disgusting and had visions of macaroni with brown gravy, like the kind you pour on roast beef. However, when I had the pleasure of eating at his mother’s house that first Sunday did I understand what he meant; “macaroni and gravy” is pasta topped with a rich tasting tomato sauce that had simmered in some type of meat all day.
Dean, my husband, and I have modified the original recipe so that it is no longer dripping in grease yet still maintains that delicious rich and hearty flavor. This “gravy” is so good, you don’t need to add anything and is perfect just the way it is.
From our family to your, enjoy this Italian tradition – modified so that it is “delicious and light”.
Macaroni and Gravy
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes (you could cook all day too)
Estimated values per serving:
Calories = 570 Fat = 7 grams Points: 6
½ pound London broil
½ pound skinless/boneless chicken breast
Salt and pepper to taste
2 small onions – chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup red wine – divided
3 cloves garlic – minced
2 cans (28 ounces each) crushed tomato
1 tomato can (28 ounces) of water
2 tablespoons double concentrate tomato paste
1 tablespoon sugar
Parsley flakes to taste (about 2 teaspoons)
Dried basil to taste (about 2 teaspoons)
½ pound pasta
Season London broil and chicken with salt and pepper. Heat a large pot on medium high heat, coat with cooking spray and add olive oil. Add London broil and chicken and sauté for about 5 minutes on each side until browned.
Remove meats from the pot and add onion. Sauté for 5 minutes until soft and browned. Add ½ cup red wine and cook until liquid is absorbed.
Add garlic and the other ½ cup wine and cook until the wine is reduced by half.
Add the crushed tomatoes, fill one can with water and add to the pot, tomato paste, sugar, parsley and basil and bring to a boil.
Add back the London broil and chicken and simmer on low for 1 hour (tasting to adjust seasonings as needed).
While the “gravy” is simmering for the last 10 minutes, bring a large pot of water to boil. Add pasta and cook for about 8 minutes until done.
Drain pasta and place in a serving bowl. Add “gravy” to pasta. Serve meats on a separate serving platter.
1 – 12 ounce package ham steaks – cut into 1 inch pieces
2 cups skim milk
2 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon fresh thyme – minced
1 tablespoon low calorie butter spread
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 package frozen chopped spinach – defrosted
½ cup shredded low fat sharp cheddar cheese
Heat a large skillet on medium high heat and spray with cooking spray. Add ham and onions and cook for 5 – 7 minutes until browned. Add cooked potatoes and saute for another minute. Spoon into a bowl and set aside.
In a small mixing bowl, whisk together flour and milk and pour into the same skillet used to brown the ham. Add thyme to the milk mixture.
Cook on medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat and stir in butter spread and Worcestershire sauce.
Add spinach with the ham and potato mixture and stir.
Spread cheddar cheese on top.
Bake 30 minutes covered and 30 minutes uncovered until cheese is completely melted.