Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Vegetable Lasagna Pasta Toss

Vegetable Lasagna Pasta Toss
I had a package of ricotta cheese that needed to get eaten in the next week and being too lazy after a long vacation to cook a lasagna, or bake something with ricotta, I decided to incorporate it in an easy to throw together, use what you have in your pantry kind of dinner.  Basically this includes many of the ingredients in a traditional vegetable lasagna, minus a bit of mozzarella cheese, but it is done on the stove in under 25 minutes.  It is high in fiber due to the whole grain pasta, the beans and the fresh veggies, and high in protein because of the pasta, cheese and beans combined.  So it is a warm, filling, satisfying and healthy way to feed a large family quickly. 

Vegetable Lasagna Pasta Toss
1 lb. organic whole wheat rigatoni
2 T. olive oil
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1 organic red bell pepper, chopped
1 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon, optional
1 can organic dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 jar of organic tomato sauce (seasoned or plain)
15 oz. organic ricotta cheese
Salt & pepper
3 handfuls of organic baby spinach
Parmesan cheese

Fill a large pot with water and set to boil.  In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add in the chopped onion and bell pepper and cook for about 5 – 10 minutes.  Add in the Italian seasoning, garlic powder and cinnamon and cook for a minute more.  Stir in the beans.  Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package instructions.  In the saucepan, pour in the tomato sauce and stir to combine.  Fold in the ricotta cheese until blended thoroughly.  Season to taste with salt and pepper and continue to cook until heated through.  When the pasta is finished cooking, add to the sauce and toss in the spinach leaves.  Serve with Parmesan cheese, if desired.

veggies and tomato sauce

completed sauce

dinner is served!

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