½ Tb. butter
1 Tb. olive oil
1 lb. sliced white mushrooms
4 C. part-skim ricotta cheese
6 C. marinara or your favorite tomato sauce, divided, plus extra for serving
4 C. finely shredded part-skim mozzarella and Parmesan cheese, divided
1, 6-oz. package baby spinach
1 small bunch of basil, stems removed and leave cut into ribbons
4 C. cooked whole grain penne
4 C. cooked regular penne
Salt and pepper to taste
½ Tb. Italian herbs mix (oregano, basil, marjoram, thyme and rosemary) (optional)
Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a casserole dish (9x13x2) with olive oil or cooking spray.
In a skillet, melt butter with olive oil over medium heat. Add a pinch of salt and sliced mushrooms. Stirring frequently, cook mushrooms for 3-5 minutes. Drain off liquid and set mushrooms aside.
In a large bowl, mix together ricotta cheese, 4 C. marinara, 2 C. mozzarella and Parmesan, mushrooms, spinach and basil. Fold in penne. Add salt, black pepper and Italian herbs to taste.
Spoon mixture into casserole dish. Spread 2 C. remaining marinara sauce on top. Sprinkle with remaining 2 C. shredded cheese. Cover loosely with aluminum foil. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 15 minutes until cheese is melted.