This is one of those recipes that is easy but doesn’t taste like it. Very much a comfort food but a very healthy version so there’s no guilt afterwards! This can be made ahead and baked before serving and is perfect for a weekday or great for a Sunday dinner…just a good go-to recipe! As we continue to follow a diabetic and cardiac diet plan in our house I will keep working on and sharing with you our health conscious low sodium recipes. There is not a lot out there for this strict of a lifestyle and I am trying to change that 🙂 Enjoy!
First you will need:
- 3 TBS EV Olive oil
- 2 lbs Perdue ground chicken
- 1 med yellow onion chopped
- 4-5 cloves garlic chopped
- 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
- 3/4- 1 tsp red pepper flakes (depending on your taste)
- (I prefer Simply Organic herbs and spices in my recipes)
- Favorite red wine
- 17.6 oz pkg. Great Value Organic penne pasta (or brand of your choice, veggie or wheat pasta would be great too!)
In a medium dutch oven or pot on medium heat add oil. When slightly heated add onion, pepper, and pepper flakes. Saute with wooden spoon until onions are softened. Add garlic and stir occasionally until onions and garlic are cooked and some brown appears on bottom of pot. Add approx 1-2 TBS of the red wine and deglaze the pot with your wooden spoon. When you have loosened all the brown bits from the bottom keep on med heat and add chicken and stir. Wash hands thoroughly.
At this point prepare pasta (and keep stirring chicken) but cook only half the time of the pkg directions (it needs to be VERY al dente) Rinse and toss with pasta water or olive oil and set aside.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees and spray a 13×9 baking dish with cooking spray
Then you will need:
- EV Olive oil
- 1/2 c chopped fresh basil
- 1/4 tsp Coriander
- 2 tsp Onion powder
- 2 tsp dried Oregano
- 2 tsp Garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp Parsley flakes
- 2 tsp Italian Seasoning
- 14.5 oz can Hunts no salt added basil, garlic, & oregano diced tomatoes
- 28 oz can Furmanos Italian style basil, garlic, oregano diced tomatoes
- (these are brands I have found to have good nutritional numbers, feel free to use a brand of your choice)
- 3/4 c Parmesan Romano grated cheese (make sure its a good brand with no fillers like Kraft or better yet grate it yourself 🙂
Continue to cook and stir ground chicken and add 1/4 c of the basil, coriander, onion powder, oregano, garlic powder, parsley flakes, & Italian seasoning. Stir well. Add 1/4 c of the cheese. Stir. Add both cans of tomatoes continue to stir. Lower heat for 5 min and stir occasionally. Remove from heat. (mixture will be a little soupy)
Spoon a small amount of the meat mixture into the pasta and stir until coated.
Start in your baking dish with a layer of meat mixture, then top with a layer of pasta, a sprinkle of fresh basil (you have a 1/4 c left) and a sprinkle of the remaining grated cheese. You can add more cheese if you prefer. Continue with the layers and end with meat mixture and cheese on top. Add more basil and a drizzle of olive oil to the top.
Make sure there are no dry noodles on the sides…if so just give a gentle stir to coat.
Cover with foil and bake 20-25 min (ovens will vary)
Remove foil and bake an additional 5-10 min
Take out of oven and let sit for 5 min. and drizzle with olive oil (and more cheese if you prefer)
Serve with more fresh basil, olive oil, cheese and fresh ground pepper.
6-8 servings depending on serving size
Created with love by:
Char Head 🙂