I'm not sure where we found the original recipe, but I do know that we have changed it quite a bit. Baked Ziti is a family favorite in our house, and it makes plenty of leftovers for lunches.
- 1-pound package uncooked ziti or penne (short tube-shaped pasta)
- 1 pound chicken Italian sausage
- 1 chopped onion
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 little can of tomato paste
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 (14.5-ounce) cans petite diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
- 2 chopped zucchini
- Cooking spray
- 8 ounces shredded fresh mozzarella cheese
- 8 ounces shredded fresh Parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain the pasta, and set aside.
- Cook sausage, onion, basil, zucchini, and garlic in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until browned, stirring to crumble.
- Add the tomato paste, salt, pepper, and tomatoes, and bring to a boil.
- Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Combine cooked pasta and sausage mixture.
If using a casserole dish:
- Place half of the pasta mixture in a 4-quart casserole coated with cooking spray.
- Top with half of mozzarella and half of Parmesan.
- Repeat layers.
If using a 5QT Creuset Brasier dutch oven:
- Put half of both of the cheeses into the pasta and stir well.
- Put the other half on top.
- Put in the oven uncovered.
- Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until bubbly.