Skillet Baked Ziti

adapted from America's Test Kitchen Light and Healthy 2010

Servings - 6   Serving size - 1/6th of recipe   PointsPlus per svg - 8 points+

Calories - 295.8   Total Fat - 6.3g,   Carbs. - 49.3,  Protein - 14.2g,   Fiber - 7.2g

1 28-oz. can diced tomatoes ( low sodium if possible)

6 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp. olive oil

1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes

salt and pepper, in amounts as desired

3 cups water

2 tsp dried basil OR 1/4 cup fresh basil chopped

12 ounces whole wheat ziti or penne pasta

1/4 cup fat free half and half

1 oz. Parmesan cheese, grated ( about 1/2 cup)

4 oz. part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded ( about 1 cup)

1. Heat oven to 475 degrees F.  Pulse the tomatoes, with their juices, in a food processor until mostly smooth.  

2.  Combine the garlic, olive oil and red pepper flakes in a 12 inch oven-safe skillet and cook over med heat until fragrant but not brown, about 1 minute.  Stir in the processed tomatoes and add salt to your liking ( I used 1/2 tsp)  and the dried basil.  ( If using fresh, add after the pasta has cooked )  Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to med-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to thicken, about 10 minutes.  

3.  Stir in the water, then add pasta.  Cover, increase the heat to med-high, and cook, stirring often ( pasta will try to stick to bottom of pan just keep it moving to avoid this)  and adjusting the heat to maintain a simmer, until the pasta is tender, about 15 -18 minutes. 

4.  Turn off the heat and stir in the fat free half and half, Parmesan, and fresh basil, if using and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Sprinkle the mozzarella evenly over the top.  Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake until the cheese has melted and begun to brown, 10 - 15 minutes.  Remove from oven and sprinkle with chopped parsley, if desired.