Weight Watchers 7 PointsPlus Baked Beef Ziti (or penne)


I thought this was pretty good!  I paired it with a 1 PointsPlus salad and felt very satisfied.  I used penne only because that is what I had.

What you need:

12 oz uncooked ziti

2 tsp olive oil

2 clove(s) (medium) garlic clove(s), minced

1/3 pound(s) uncooked lean ground beef

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp dried thyme

1 tsp dried rosemary

1/2 tsp table salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

28 oz canned crushed tomatoes

1 cup(s) (shredded) part-skim mozzarella cheese

How to make it:

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat; add garlic and sauté 2 minutes. Add beef and cook until browned, breaking up meat with a spoon as it cooks, about 3 to 5 minutes; drain off any fat and set pan back over medium heat.

Add oregano, thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper; stir to coat beef. Cook until herbs become fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes and bring mixture to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.

Spoon a small amount of beef-tomato mixture into bottom of a 4-quart casserole dish (just enough to cover surface); top with half of cooked ziti. Next, layer with half of remaining beef-tomato sauce and half of mozzarella cheese. Layer with remaining ziti and then top with remaining beef-tomato sauce; sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese. Bake until cheese is golden and bubbly, about 30 minutes. Slice into 8 pieces and serve. Yields 1 piece per serving.

Pasta with Creamy Spinach Pesto


This is a Weight Watchers Recipe.  Serves: 4  PointsPlus: 6

What You Need:

1 1/4 tsp table salt, divided, or more to taste

8 oz uncooked whole-wheat pasta, spaghetti or linguine recommended

4 1/2 cup(s) fresh spinach, baby variety, washed and dried

2 Tbsp water

1 1/2 tsp olive oil, extra virgin

2 clove(s) (small) garlic clove(s)

2 1/2 Tbsp low fat cream cheese

1 tsp fresh lemon juice, or to taste

How to Make it:

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil (use 1 teaspoon salt). Add pasta and cook as package directs until al dente, about 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a food processor or blender, process spinach, water, oil, garlic and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt until smooth; set aside.

Reserve 1/4 cup pasta cooking water and then drain pasta. Return pasta to pot; add cream cheese and stir until melted.

Add pesto sauce and toss to combine, adding reserved cooking water if a thinner consistency is desired. Season with fresh lemon juice and salt, if desired. Yields about 1 1/4 cups per serving.

**I added red pepper flakes (as I do to most things!)