Ziti & Quinoa Pasta Bake

For those that love pasta and cottage cheese, and are trying to eat healthier, this is  a great recipe!  I am not a fan of chickpeas – however, I absolutely love the Banza pasta because it is such a great source of protein.

Ingredients for Pasta Sauce:

  • 2 cans tomato sauce (15 oz. cans)
  • 2 cans tomato paste (6 oz. cans)
  • 2 TBSP Oregano
  • 2 TBSP Basil
  • 2 TBSP Garlic Salt
  • 2 TBSP Chives
  • 2 TBSP Minced Garlic
  • *optional – splash of wine
  • *optional – red pepper flakes

Ingredients for Pasta:

  • 1-2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 box Banza ziti noodles (you can use any type of noodles for this actually)
  • 2 cups cottage cheese, or 1-16 oz. container of cottage cheese
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • Pasta sauce – if you don’t make the above recipe, you’ll need 2 jars of pasta sauce.
  • Cheese – any type.  I used Asiago, which is not pictured
  • *optional – mushrooms, spinach, ground meat, onions

Directions:

  1.  Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. Make the pasta sauce and set aside.  You will not need all of this sauce.
  3.  Cook the quinoa in a rice cooker or on the stovetop per the directions on the package.  I use a rice cooker and put 1 cup of quinoa and 2 cups of water on the white rice setting.
  4.  Boil the noodles half of the cooking time stated on the box.  They will cook the rest of the way in the oven.  Once the noodles are halfway cooked, drain and then place back into pot.
  5.  Add the cottage cheese, diced tomatoes and at least 2 cups of the pasta sauce.  If you are using store bought sauce, use one jar.  Add any other additions at this time and stir until mixed.  If you need more pasta sauce, feel free to add more.
  6.   Take a 9×13 baking dish and use non-stick spray to coat the bottom and sides.  Add the pasta mix into the baking dish.  Sprinkle any cheese you would like to use on top.
  7.   Take a spatula or spoon and place dollops of pasta sauce on top of the pasta mixture.
  8.   Spread the pasta sauce evenly over the pasta mixture and add more cheese on top if you’d like.  Put foil on top of the dish.
  9.   Once the oven is ready, place inside there for 30-45 minutes.  Remove foil for the last 5 minutes and if you want to add more cheese, feel free!  Be sure to use oven mitts.  Place back in oven for 5 minutes and then remove the baking dish from the oven with oven mitts.  Be sure to also turn the oven off.

Enjoy!!

**I am not a nutritionist or personal trainer by any means and my results can very much vary from anyone else’s.  Please keep that in mind and feel free to share this blog with friends!  

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