I have been meaning to make this recipe all week. In fact, I thought about making it Monday. I bought all the ingredients Tuesday. I planned on making it Wednesday. Finally Thursday came along and I finally got my act together. I blame Daylight Savings time. When I get out of work and it’s pitch black out it’s so hard to do anything besides change into my pajamas and curl up on the couch. 5 PM suddenly seems like 9 PM for some reason and it zaps all my motivation! I need to ease back into this whole “almost winter” thing.
Luckily, this recipe was worth the wait. Anything with meat, cheese and pasta is usually a winner in my book, but the sour cream layer in this dish added a tangy twist that I really liked. The cheese on top of my pasta bake browned a tiny bit more than I would have liked because I accidentally put it in the top half of the oven instead of the middle rack. Keep that in mind and yours should reach a perfect light golden color. The servings for this are huge and it was super filling. Darkness Schmarkness, I think I got my cooking mojo back!
Layered Pasta BakeSource: Adapted from Annie's Eats
1 (13.25 oz) box of wheat or fiber enriched penne
1 lb 95% lean ground beef
1 (15 oz) can of tomato sauce
1 (6 oz) can of tomato paste
1 t sugar
½ t dried basil
½ t oregano
Salt, to taste
1/3 c water
1 c fat free sour cream
4 oz 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened
1 large egg
½ c scallions, chopped
1 c shredded 2% Mozzarella cheese
1. Pre-heat the oven to 375. Lightly coat a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
2. Cook pasta according to directions on box, then drain and set aside.
3. While water heats for the pasta, in a large sauté pan, cook the ground beef over medium heat, breaking up beef until it is completely browned. Drain grease from pan if necessary. Add tomato sauce, tomato paste, sugar, basil, oregano, salt and water. Reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
4. In a medium bowl, combine the sour cream, cream cheese and egg and mix together until smooth and thoroughly combined. Add in the chopped scallions and stir.
5. Spread a thin layer of the sauce mixture across the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Top this with a layer of the cooked penne. Spread half the sour cream mixture over the top of the pasta. Top with a layer of the meat sauce. Repeat the layers again starting with the pasta. Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese evenly over the top. Bake uncovered for 25-30 minutes.
Yields 8 servings. Weight Watchers Points Plus: 9 per serving (P+ calculated using the recipe builder on weightwatchers.com)
Nutrition Information per serving from myfitnesspal.com: 384 calories, 47 g carbs, 10 g fat, 26 g protein, 7 g fiber