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Speedy Pasta Pie

Yields12 ServingsPrep Time15 minsCook Time45 minsTotal Time1 hr

Simple as pie…
This recipe is way faster to make than lasagne, and you have the option of making two pans, so you can freeze one for a future meal (baking from frozen for about 1-1/2 hours). You can also assemble it ahead and refrigerate to bake later, baking for 10 minutes longer. When baked in a single lasagna pan, this recipe is perfect for potluck and buffet-style dinners.

 1 box (375 g) whole wheat spaghetti or macaroni
 1 lb 500 g Extra Lean or Lean Ground Beef
 1 medium onion, finely chopped
 2 to 3 large cloves garlic, minced
 1 tsp (5 mL) dried Italian herb seasoning
 1 pkg (454 g) light ricotta cheese
 1 pkg (300 g) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
 1-1/2 cups (375 mL) part-skim shredded mozzarella cheese
 1/2 tsp 2 mL pepper
 4 cups 1 L fat- and sodium-reduced pasta sauce
 1/4 cup 50 mL grated light Parmesan-style cheese
1

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse; set aside.

Meanwhile, cook beef, onion, garlic and Italian seasoning in large deep frypan over medium heat for 8 to10 minutes or until beef is thoroughly cooked and any liquid has evaporated. Remove from heat. Stir in ricotta, spinach, 1 cup (250 mL) of the mozzarella and pepper; combine well. Toss with cooked pasta (don’t worry if pasta tears).

Spread 1-1/3 (325 mL) pasta sauce into each of two 9-inch (23 cm) deep-dish glass pie plates; layer with pasta mixture. Spread remaining pasta sauce over top of each; sprinkle each with Parmesan and remaining mozzarella. (Can be covered and refrigerated or frozen.) Cover loosely with foil and bake in 350°F (180°C) oven for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for 5 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before cutting to serve.

Lasagne-style Pasta Pie: Spread 1-1/3 cups (325 mL) pasta sauce in 13 x 9-inch (3 L) baking dish. Top with pasta mixture and remaining pasta sauce. Sprinkle with Parmesan and remaining mozzarella.

Heart-Healthy Makeover: We used lean ground beef and lighter cheeses along with fat and sodium-reduced pasta sauce. This dish is a great way to sneak in some spinach for the spinach adverse.

Nutrition Facts

Servings 12