Italian Ziti Bake and Take

1 lb. ground beef (85% lean)
8 oz. mild bulk Italian sausage or 2 to 3 sausage links, casings removed
1 small zucchini, finely chopped (1 cup)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large carrot, finely chopped (1/2 cup)
2 large garlic cloves, minced
Dash crushed red pepper
1 (26-oz.) jar spaghetti sauce
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1 lb. ziti or penne (tube-shaped pasta)
1 (12-oz.) pkg. shredded mozzarella cheese (3 cups)
1. Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 13×9-inch glass or ceramic baking dish with cooking spray.
2. Heat large skillet over high heat until hot. Crumble ground beef and sausage into skillet; cook 5 minutes or until just beginning to brown, stirring frequently and breaking into small pieces. Reduce heat to medium-high; cook 3 to 5 minutes or until browned, stirring frequently. With slotted spoon, place in medium bowl.
3. Cook zucchini, onion and carrot in same skillet over medium-high heat 4 to 5 minutes or until beginning to brown. Stir in garlic and crushed red pepper; cook 30 seconds or until fragrant. Stir in spaghetti sauce, water and meat; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in basil.
4. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Place in baking dish. Top with sauce; sprinkle with cheese. (Pasta can be made to this point 8 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Add 5 to 10 minutes to baking time.)
5. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
8 servings
PER SERVING: 645 calories, 24.5 g total fat (9.5 g saturated fat), 36 g protein, 70.5 g carbohydrate, 70 mg cholesterol, 1180 mg sodium, 5 g fiber
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