Baked Ziti

Another great dish brought by another great neighbor as we are learning how to be parents of 3 under 2 years old! It’s easy for larger groups or for weeknight dinners. If you don’t like a lot of sauce check out the original recipe linked at the bottom of this post. If you’re like me and like a some sauce with your pasta then check out my adapted version written below. Thanks Jenn!

IMG_1140Ingredients:

  • 1 pound dried ziti pasta
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound sweet and or spicy Italian sausages, casing removed and crumbled
  • 1/4 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • One jar tomato/spaghetti sauce
  • Fresh basil (about 3-4 sprigs)
  • 1 pound fresh mozzarella, half sliced and half cubed
  • 1 cup shredded Parmesan, divided
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt generously, and boil the pasta until al dente, tender but still slightly firm. Drain. (Meanwhile start sauce).
  • Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook the sausage until beginning to brown, about 3 minutes.
  • Add the onion and garlic, stirring, until lightly browned, about 3 minutes more.
  • Add the basil and tomato sauce (about 1/2-3/4 jar depending on how saucy you want it)  and bring to a boil.
  • Lower the heat and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.
  • Season with salt and paper
  • Toss the cooked pasta with the tomato and sausage sauce, half the mozzarella cubed, and h1 Parmesan cheese.
  • Transfer the pasta to an oiled 9 by 13-inch baking dish.
  • Cover the top of the pasta with the sliced mozzarella, and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan.
  • Bake until lightly browned and hot, about 30 minutes. Serve immediately.

Original recipe available here.

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