The key to this dish is the mushrooms. Not just delicious, they are a good source of fiber and protein, also providing B and C vitamins. In a vegetarian dish, mushrooms add heartiness. The carnivore in your family won't miss the meat. I kept the spices simple to emphasize the mushroom's flavor. Hope this helps during a busy week.
Sauce: (You can substitute a jar of tomato basil pasta sauce. I just didn't have any on hand.)
3-16 oz cans of diced tomatoes
1 T Basil
2 t salt
2 t sugar
Box of whole wheat rotini
6-8 c water
2 packages of mushrooms, 1 cremini or portabella and 1 white, sliced
1/2 medium onion
1 c ricotta cheese
1 lb grated mozzarella
Grated parmesan, optional
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine all sauce ingredients in a medium sauce pan and simmer while preparing the rest of the dish. Combine rotini with water and boil until al dente. If available, use an oven safe pot with a lid so dish can be transferred without dirtying a second piece. While pasta and sauce cook, add 1 T olive oil to large pan and saute mushrooms and onion.
When pasta is cooked, drain and return to oven safe pot (if you don't have a safe pot, use a large baking dish and cover with aluminum foil). Cover the pasta with half the sauce. Spread ricotta cheese and half the mozzarella. Next cover with mushrooms and onion. Spread the rest of the sauce over the mushrooms. Top with remaining mozzarella and a little grated parmesan.
Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove cover and broil for 5 - 10 minutes to brown cheese.