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Cheesy Pizza Dip with Quick Marinara Sauce
Cheesy Pizza Dip with Quick Marinara Sauce / Ben Fink for USA WEEKEND

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Cheesy Pizza Dip

• 2 cups Quick Marinara Sauce (recipe follows)
• ˝ cup part-skim ricotta cheese
• ˝ cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
• 2 Tbs. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
• 4 large or 6 small whole basil leaves

Preheat the oven to 450F.

Pour the sauce into a 10-inch ovenproof skillet. Heat the sauce over medium-high heat to warm through, about 4 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat and spoon the ricotta cheese in 4 large dollops onto the sauce with the spoon. Sprinkle the mozzarella, then the Parmesan over the top. Top with the basil leaves.

Bake until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese is melted, 3 to 4 minutes. Serve warm, directly from the skillet, with slices of whole-wheat Italian bread.

Yield: 8 servings

Per serving: 70 calories, 4g carbohydrates, 4g protein, 3.5g fat (1.5g saturated), 10mg cholesterol, 1g fiber, 170mg sodium

Quick Marinara Sauce

• 1 Tb. olive oil
• 1 small onion, finely chopped
• 4 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes (preferably no-salt-added)
• 1 tsp. dried basil
• Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
• ˝ tsp. salt (if using no-salt-added tomatoes), or to taste
• Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, basil and red pepper flakes, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Yield: 6 servings

Per serving: 60 calories, 8g carbohydrates, 1g protein, 2.5g fat (0g saturated), 0mg cholesterol, 2g fiber, 210mg sodium

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Ellie Krieger is host of the The Food Network’s hit show “Healthy Appetite,” which airs on The Cooking Channel. The author of three cookbooks, her latest is Comfort Food Fix: Feel Good Favorites Made Healthy. A registered dietitian, Ellie has helped out with First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign and has teamed up with New York City SchoolFood initiative, where she created healthy, delicious menu items for students citywide.