Baked Ziti with Sausage

by Sheryl

Prep Time: 15 mins | Cook Time: 1 hr 20 mins | Total Time: 1 hr 35 mins | Servings: 6

Baked Ziti with Sausage is one of the best dishes you will ever try. The Italian sausage makes the wonderful pasta sauce, and with more cheese, it’ll be hard to say no!

Ingredients

1 tbsp Olive Oil
1 Small Onion finely diced
3-5 Garlic Cloves minced
1 lb Mild Italian Sausage casings removed and torn into pieces or use bulk sausage
1 28-oz. Can Diced Tomatoes we used fire-roasted tomatoes (you can also use canned whole tomatoes, chopped)
1 24-oz. Jar Pasta Sauce (feel free to use your favourite brand and meatless variety)
1 lb Ziti cooked to package directions for al-dente
1 tbsp Salt for the pasta water (I use kosher salt)
2 c. Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
½ c. Grated Parmesan Cheese plus extra for serving
Chopped Parsley for garnish, optional
Crushed Red Pepper for serving, optional

How to make Baked Ziti with Sausage

Step 1: In a large, heavy pot or large, deep skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions to the pot once the oil is hot but not smoking and cook for about 3 minutes while stirring often. Add the garlic and continue to cook for a minute more, stirring rarely.

Step 2: To the pot, add the sausage. Adjust the heat to medium-high and continue to cook for 5 to 6 minutes more until the meat has browned. Make sure to stir frequently and break any large pieces using a spatula or wooden spoon.

Step 3: Add the tomatoes along with the pasta sauce and stir well to incorporate.

Step 4: Once the sauce is simmering, adjust the heat to medium-low and cover the pot. Cook further while stirring occasionally, keeping the sauce at a simmer. This takes about 40 to 45 minutes. If the sauce is boiling vigorously, turn the heat down.

Step 5: Meanwhile, prepare the oven. Preheat it to 350 degrees F. And following the package directions, cook the Ziti in a large pot of salted boiling water until al dente.

Step 6: Once the pasta is done, drain well and set aside. You can reserve about a cup of pasta water to add to the sauce if needed.

To build the ziti and sausage casserole:

Step 7: In a larger pot, combine the Ziti and the sauce. Gently toss.

Step 8: In a 9x 13-inches or larger oven-proof casserole dish or baking pan, spoon approximately half of the Ziti pasta mixture and sprinkle with half of the mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese. Then, add the rest of the pasta and top with the rest of the mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese.

Step 9: On a rimmed baking sheet, place the casserole dish. Bake in the preheated oven for about 15 to 20 minutes until the cheese has melted.

Step 10: Before serving, garnish with some chopped parsley. If desired, serve with more Parmesan cheese and crushed red pepper. Enjoy!

Note:

Drain the excess grease from the sausage by taking the pot off the heat and sliding it over an empty burner. Then, to one side of the pot, mound the sausage and gently tip it for the excess oil to pools on the other side. To scoop out some of the excess greases, use a large spoon or ladle.

Nutrition Facts:

Calories: 772kcal | Carbohydrates: 72g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 38g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 94mg | Sodium: 1897mg | Potassium: 1063mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 1027IU | Vitamin C: 25mg | Calcium: 376mg | Iron: 5mg

Please don't forget to Like & Share this recipe with your friends. Also, make sure to follow on Facebook and Pinterest to get our latest Daily Yummy Recipes.