Tag Archives: Ricotta cheese

Baked Rigatoni

Pass the bread and pour the wine, it’s a perfect night for a warm and comforting Italian dinner. One of my favorite pastas is rigatoni, I love how the sauce fills the middle of each piece, it’s like a saucy pocket surprise. 😉 What a great change from the tired boring spaghetti dish, let’s shake it up and add some delicious FLAVORS!

2 Servings of Rigatoni Pasta

1 Pound Lean Ground Meat

3 or 4 Cups Tomato Sauce

1/2 Cup Part Skim Ricotta Cheese

1/4 Cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

1/2 Tbs Garlic Powder

1/2 Tbs Onion Powder

1/2 Tbs Italian Seasoning

1/4 Tbs Salt

1/4 Tbs Pepper

Preheat the oven to 365°. Boil the pasta according to the box instructions. In the meantime brown the meat in a skillet with all of the seasoning. I love the smell of the seasoning as soon as it hits the hot pan, it really wakes up all those FLAVORS (it also wakes up my doggies as they stroll into the kitchen…I guess no one can resist 😉 ).

Once the pasta and meat are finished, transfer to a casserole dish. Stir in the tomato sauce and mix together. I love how the sauce attaches to the ridges of each pasta piece. Now it’s time to add in the ricotta cheese, dollop spoonfuls an inch or so apart all over the top. Adjust the amount by preference, I love a lot of that cheesy goodness! Top with mozzarella cheese and cook for about 20-30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

Let cool and garnish with parmesan cheese or fresh parsley. How elegant and delicious does that look, and it was so easy! Plus if it doesn’t all get eaten…yay leftovers!!! I know, I get too excited…it’s the small things 😉

Happy Flavoring!

 

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Light Spinach Artichoke Dip

Time to throw away that tired old spinach artichoke dip recipe, and spruce it up with this revamped dip. By making a few swap outs, this recipe is much healthier without losing any of the FLAVOR. My husband was so surprised when I told him that I changed it up after he tried it (I’m so sneaky). I actually surprised myself when I created this recipe (trust me you will be amazed after the first bite). Such a delicious dip without any of the guilt…count me in!

2  14 oz. Cans of Artichokes

1  10 oz Bag of Fresh Spinach

1  15 oz. Container of Ricotta Cheese

1/2 Cup Greek Yogurt

1 Cup Shredded Mozzarella

2 Tbs Canola Oil

1/2 Tbs Nutmeg

2 Tbs Garlic Powder

1/2 Tbs Cayenne (optional)

1/2 Tbs Salt

Preheat the oven to 365°. I love using fresh greens so I use fresh spinach, but you can use frozen if you’d prefer. Add the canola oil to a large skillet and add the fresh spinach. If your skillet is not big enough, just add a little at a time. It will look like a lot, but it will all wilt down (it’s so crazy how you start with a big bag of spinach and it cooks down to about a cup, I guess that is the magic of it). Add the nutmeg and half of the garlic powder. The nutmeg is a perfect seasoning to add to greens. It really enhances their FLAVOR! Add more oil as needed. Once they have finished cooking put aside.

Drain the artichokes into a strainer and rinse them with water (this will rinse off the salty brine that they are packed with). Squeeze out the water of each artichoke and place on your cutting board. Cut the artichokes into a rough chop (watch those fingers!)

Time to put it all together (here is where we add the secret ingredients 😉 ). In a large bowl combine the artichokes, ricotta cheese, and Greek yogurt. Mix together, then add in the rest of the seasoning along with the spinach mixture and half of the mozzarella.  Spread into a greased casserole dish and top with the remaining  mozzarella cheese. Cook for 30-35 minutes until lightly browned. Serve once it has cooled for 5-10 minutes. This dip goes great with tortilla chips, crackers, or pita chips.

Try out his recipe for your family or at your next dinner party, then you can tell them how healthy it really is, or you can keep it our little secret (don’t worry, I won’t tell 😉 ).

Happy Flavoring!