Blogging about food – not running

Spinach & Mushroom Baked Ziti a la Me


‘Cheater’ Pasta Sauce
2 – 28 oz cans crushed tomatoes
1 – 8 oz package sliced mushrooms
12 oz frozen Baby Leaf Spinach (thawed)
1 head minced garlic (approx. 2 TBSP)
2 TBSP dried Basil Leaves
1 tsp dried Thyme leaves
1 tsp finely ground Sea Salt
1/2 tsp red or cayenne pepper

Everything Else
1 package Barilla Whole Grain Penne Pasta
1 cup sour cream
1 cup plain, Greek Style Yogurt
1/2 cup shredded Mozzarella Cheese (part skim)
1 cup shredded Parmesan Cheese
Olive oil
Butter (real butter – NOT margerine!)


In bottom of lightly heated 3 quart sauce pan drizzle approximately 2 TBSP olive oil and add 1 TBSP butter, heat , over medium heat until butter has melted.
Add garlic, basil, thyme, salt, and pepper and stir.
Add sliced mushrooms, place lid on sauce pan and cook until mushrooms are soft.
Pour in two cans of crushed tomatoes, place lid and bring to a slow boil; reduce heat and simmer.

Everything Else
Cook pasta according to package directions, rinse, mix in spinach, sour cream, yogurt, sauce, and cheeses.

Place mixture in baking dish and bake at 350 (f) for approximately 30 – 45 minutes. (Check for doneness based on how browned the cheese and pasta are on top and your personal preference.)

This is, as a carb laden dish goes, fairly healthy.

I call the sauce I made today ‘Cheater’ Pasta Sauce because normally I saute finely minced eggplant, zucchini, onions, bell pepper, mushrooms, and chopped fresh spinach in with garlic and fresh herbs; add blanched, peeled, pureed Roma Tomatoes; then cook all that overnight in the slow cooker. I call it “Julianne’s I-Ate-What?!” Pasta Sauce”. My grown sons know good and well there is: A) zero meat; and B) vegetables they would otherwise never eat; but they eat it and come back for seconds and thirds!