Pizza Pasta Pie

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We had planned on visiting Tom's parents since the weekend before Christmas, but something managed to come up every weekend until the end of January when we were finally able to make the trip. Before we finally made it there, I was joking that we'd be celebrating Christmas for Easter if this kept happening!

Anyway, during our visit his mom showed me two new cookbooks that she purchased. They offered healthier alternatives to recipes, usually using Splenda instead of sugar and also provided you with a PointPlus number if you were using Weight Watchers. I flipped through the cookbooks and found so many recipes that I liked, that I immediately got on my phone and downloaded the Amazon app so I could order the cookbooks right then, instead of waiting until we got home.

Although I have an iPhone, I'm usually all "silly people addicted to their damn phones, using them for everything", but this was the one time that I was quite thrilled with the technological capabilities of my phone, considering the books were ordered on Saturday and scheduled to arrive to me on Tuesday.

The cookbooks are Eat What You Love and Eat More of What You Love both by Marlene Koch.

One of the first recipes I chose to make was this one, because I knew Tom wouldn't suspect its healthiness at all.



Pizza Pasta Pie
Source: Eat More of What You Love by Marlene Koch
Servings: 6
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Ingredients:
    • 6 oz. whole wheat spaghetti
    • 1 large egg
    • 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese, divided
    • 1/2 lb. lean ground beef
    • 2 cups mushrooms, sliced
    • 1 1/2 cups marinara sauce
    • 1/2 tsp. oregano
    • 1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
    • 3/4 cup part-skim shredded mozzarella cheese
Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350. Spray a deep 9" pie plate with non-stick cooking spray.
2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil and cook spaghetti according to package directions for al dente. Drain and shake well to remove excess water.
3. Crack the egg over a large bowl and beat lightly. Add 1/4 cup of the Parmesan cheese and the cooked noodles. Toss well to coat and then press the pasta on the sides and bottom of the prepared pie plate. Set aside.
4. Add the ground beef and mushrooms to a skillet over medium heat and cook, stirring frequently until ground beef is browned. Drain any excess fat. Season meat with oregano and pour marinara sauce into the skillet. Reduce the heat to low and toss to coat.
5. Spread the ricotta cheese on top of the noodles in the prepared pie plate. Add the meat mixture on top of that and then sprinkle with the mozzarella cheese and the remaining Parmesan cheese.
6. Bake for 30 minutes or until heated through. Let sit for 10 minutes before cutting into 6 wedges.

You'd really have no idea this is a healthier recipe at all. Each wedges comes in at 290 calories which is just shocking for the amount of flavor this packs in. It's also incredibly filling and I could barely eat all of my slice! If you needed to sneak in some extra veggies, this would definitely be the meal to do so. Some green pepper or onion would go nicely with this and since the mozzarella melts on down to the ricotta, any unsuspecting veggie hates would never even know.

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