Baked pasta is a versatile way to incorporate many nutritious foods into one dish. Cottage cheese is one ingredient that will add flavor and texture to your baked pasta recipe. Cottage cheese also adds protein and calcium to your meal. Choose a low-fat version to keep your recipe low in saturated fat.
Meat and Cottage Cheese Lasagna
Numerous recipes for lasagna include different types of meat and cheese. Use lean ground beef and low-fat cottage cheese for a healthy and nutritious version. Brown lean ground beef with chopped onion, minced garlic and chopped fresh or dried herbs, such as basil, oregano and rosemary. Add low-sodium canned tomatoes and tomato sauce. Place a small amount on the bottom of your baking dish. Add a layer of precooked whole-wheat lasagna noodles followed by cottage cheese and more of the meat mixture. Continue making layers until you have three or four. Top the last layer with shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese. Bake for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, or until the lasagna is steaming and the cheese has melted.
Cottage Cheese and Vegetable Stuffed Shells
Combining cottage cheese with sauteed vegetables will add taste and nutrition to your baked pasta recipe. Saute chopped bell peppers, mushrooms, onion and garlic in olive oil. Cool and stir in low-fat cottage cheese and dried oregano. Mix well, and use to fill precooked whole wheat pasta shells. Lay them gently in a baking dish. Top with low-salt tomato sauce and shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese. Bake at 400 degrees for about 25 to 30 minutes. The sauce should be bubbling and the cheese should be melted. Sprinkle a small amount of Parmesan cheese on top just before serving.
Spaghetti Cottage Cheese Bake with Turkey Sausage
Turkey sausage lends flavor to a baked pasta recipe but contains less saturated fat than traditional sausage. Brown your sausage with chopped onions and finely chopped garlic cloves. Add low-fat cottage cheese, diced low-sodium canned tomatoes and low-salt tomato sauce. Mix well. In a baking dish, combine precooked whole-wheat spaghetti noodles with the meat mixture and a dash of dried basil and black pepper. Sprinkle a combination of part-skim mozzarella and Parmesan cheese over the top. Bake in a 350 degree oven until steaming and bubbly, about 25 to 35 minutes.
Garden Vegetable Baked Ziti with Cottage Cheese
Garden vegetables are nutritious additions to baked pasta that supply nutrients such as vitamins A, C and fiber. Saute chopped carrots, green bell peppers, onions, tomatoes, garlic and zucchini in olive oil until tender. Add low-fat cottage cheese and dried basil, rosemary and oregano. Stuff into cooked whole-wheat ziti pasta and place in a baking dish. Pour low-sodium tomato sauce on top and bake for 20 minutes in a preheated 350 degree oven. Remove and sprinkle with your favorite Italian cheese, such as Asiago or Parmesan. Bake for 5 to 10 more minutes, or until cheese has melted.
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- "Good Housekeeping Pasta: 100 Delicious Recipes"; Anne Wright; 2008
- "How to Cook Everything: 2,000 Simple Recipes for Great Food"; Mark Bittman and Alan Witschonke; 2008
Sara Ipatenco has taught writing, health and nutrition. She started writing in 2007 and has been published in Teaching Tolerance magazine. Ipatenco holds a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in education, both from the University of Denver.