Baked Penne Bolognese

I came across this ground beef and pasta recipe while looking for Weight Watchers recipes. I love WW recipes... I am very rarely disappointed. This is only about 260 cal for 1 1/4 c! I was very full after this. This made for great leftovers as well. I shredded and sauteed some zucchini with it and it was super delish.

1 box Ronzoni Smart Taste penne pasta
1 lb lean ground beef
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 small diced onion
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
1 large diced zucchini
44 oz Italian crushed tomatoes (it's 1 1/2 cans of the really big cans)
1 tsp red pepper flakes (I used 2 tsp!)
8 oz container of fresh mozzarella pearls packed in water
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and begin boiling the water for your pasta. First, you need to make your bolognese sauce. Spray a large pan with cooking spray and brown the ground beef for about 5 minutes. Then add in the onion and garlic and continue to cook for an additional 3-4 minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes, zucchini, basil, salt, and pepper. Let simmer for ten minutes.

As the bolognese simmers, cook your pasta in salted boiling water until just al dente (about 7-8 minutes for most pasta). Drain pasta and set aside. Run cool water over it if the bolognese still needs to simmer to stop the pasta from cooking further.

Return the pasta to the pot and mix together with the bolognese sauce. Add in 1/2 of the mozzarella pearls, 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese, red pepper, and additional salt and pepper to taste. Mix well. Pour into a large, greased baking dish and place the remaining mozzarella pearls on top, then sprinkle the rest of the Parmesan cheese on top. Cook for 30 minutes until the cheese begins to brown and bubble. Serve immediately.

Original recipe found here.

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