Eat Skinny Be Skinny: Four-Cheese Baked Penne

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I know what you’re thinking. “How can anything with four cheese in the title be healthy?” And honestly, I thought the same thing. But when I read through the ingredients and nutritional information, it all made sense.  By using low-fat, part-skim, or fat-free cheese, you can slash your total calories and total fat in half. So my friends and fellow cheese-heads, don’t judge a book by a cover [or in this case, a recipe by it’s name!] You may be pleasantly surprised by how delicious, and healthy, a recipe can be! [Note, due to our crap-tastic camera, most of the photos did not turn out. Boo. So below are a mix of my photos and the photos I found with the recipe.] Recipe is courtesy of SELF.

Four Cheese Baked Penne

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 1/2 cups small-curd fat free cottage cheese
  • 1 1/4 cups shredded part-skim [or fat free] mozzarella
  • 1 cup part-skim [or fat free] ricotta
  • 1 pound whole-wheat penne
  • 2-3 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 can (15 oz) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can (8 oz)  tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes [or chili powder]
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan

How To Make It:

  1. Heat oven to 400°.
  2. Combine cottage cheese, 1/2 cup mozzarella, ricotta in a bowl.
  3. Cook pasta until tender but still firm; drain.
  4. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Add garlic; cook, stirring, 30 seconds more. Add tomatoes, sauce, oregano, rosemary, salt, pepper flakes and pepper. Bring to a boil; reduce heat; simmer until sauce thickens slightly, about 10 minutes.
  5. Add pasta to the tomato mix ; turn off heat. Stir in cheese-parsley mixture.
  6. Coat a 9″ x 13″ glass baking dish with cooking spray; transfer pasta mixture to dish. Top with remaining 3/4 cup mozzarella and Parmesan. Bake until heated through and cheese melts, about 30 minutes.

Nutritional Information per serving:  400 calories, 11 g.m. fat, 24 g.m. protein

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