Crock Pot Baked Ziti
1 lb ziti noodles, uncooked
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 lb ground beef
1/2 lb Italian sausage
12 oz baby bella mushrooms, sliced
10 oz frozen spinach, defrosted
1 tsp nutmeg
15 oz ricotta cheese
2 egg whites
2 tbsp garlic powder
2 tbsp minced onion
2 tbsp dried Italian herbs
3/4 cup parmesan cheese, shredded (divided)
1-1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded (divided)
48 oz store-bought pasta sauce (or make your own)
7-8 fresh basil leaves, chiffonaded
Salt and pepper to taste
Non-stick cooking spray
Coat the inside of the crock pot with the non-stick spray.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef, sausage, and mushrooms, breaking up the meat a wooden spoon. Cook for 7 minutes or until browned. Drain any excess liquid from the pan, then set aside.
In a bowl, combine the ricotta, egg whites, 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, spinach, nutmeg, garlic powder, minced onion, dried Italian herbs, salt, and pepper.
Place half the noodles in the crock pot, then top with 2 cups of the pasta sauce, using a spoon to make sure the noodles and pasta sauce are in an even layer. Top with half of the meat mixture, followed by half of the spinach-ricotta mixture, using a spoon to spread in an even layer.
Repeat with the remaining pasta, another 2 cups of sauce, and the rest of the spinach-ricotta mixture. Top with the remaining sauce (about 1 cup), cover, then cook on low heat for 4-6 hours.
Remove lid and sprinkle 1 cup of mozzarella cheese and the remaining parmesan on top, replace lid, and cook for another 30 minutes. Just before serving, garnish with the basil.
Approximate Nutritional Values: http://www.food.com/recipe/slow-cooker-baked-ziti-159346