Healthy Baked Spaghetti

The title of this recipe is probably misleading.  Normally when you think of baked spaghetti you think of a thick and hearty meat sauce, mixed with noodles and cheese and baked until bubbly.  Well this is all that, but using turkey sausage and mung bean noodles.  So that’s the healthy aspect.  But the other day I made some homemade ricotta cheese.   The recipe is here:  http://sweet-carolines.com/side-dishes/homemade-ricotta-cheese/.   And I wanted to find a good way to use it since it was absolutely to-die-for.  So I decided to make a healthy baked spaghetti less healthy and add my ricotta cheese and some mozzarella cheese.

I must say it was delicious and even the tiny humans liked it!  I do like mung bean noodles, but obviously I still like regular pasta better.  Mung bean noodles are gluten free, high in protein and low in carbs and fat.  They’re vegan, but this dish is hardly vegan since it has both meat and cheese.

Start by sauteeing your peppers and onions in olive oil.

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Add your mushrooms, garlic and black pepper.

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Add turkey sausage without casings.

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Crumble sausage and cook until browned.

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Add tomato sauce and fresh basil.  Let simmer for about 5-10 minutes.

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Meanwhile cook mung bean noodles.

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Add the cooked pasta to the sauce.  Mix to combine.

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Meanwhile, in another bowl, add ricotta cheese, egg, parmesan cheese and more fresh basil.

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In an oven-safe baking dish, layer half the pasta and sauce.

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Add the ricotta mixture.

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Then the second half of the pasta and sauce.

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Cover with mozzarella cheese.

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Bake at 375 degrees for about 20-25 minutes until top is browned and bubbly.  Enjoy!

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Recipe:

1 lb turkey sausage
1 medium onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
2 Tablespoons olive oil
6 large mushrooms sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 – 14 oz cans tomato sauce or diced tomatoes
1/4 cup fresh basil minced
16 oz mung bean pasta
1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese – store bought or homemade - http://sweet-carolines.com/side-dishes/homemade-ricotta-cheese/
1 egg
1/3 cup parmesan cheese
1 cup mozzarella cheese

In a medium pot, saute the onions and peppers in olive oil.  Add the mushrooms, garlic and black pepper.  Cook until the vegetables are tender.  Then add the turkey sausage without the casings.  Crumble and brown the meat.  Add the tomato sauce or diced tomatoes and fresh basil.  Let simmer for about 5-10 minutes.  Meanwhile cook the mung bean pasta.  When the pasta is cooked, add to the sauce and mix to combine.  In a medium bowl, mix ricotta cheese, egg, more fresh basil, and parmesan cheese.  Layer 1/2 the pasta and sauce in a baking dish.  Top with the ricotta mixture.  Add the remaining sauce and pasta.  Then top with mozzarella cheese.  Bake at 375 degrees for about 20-25 minutes until top is browned and bubbly.

Enjoy!

Caroline