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Baked Ziti Pasta with Sausage, Tomatoes, and Cheese Recipe

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.

Ingredients



  • 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


Preparation



  • 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:
  • Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until bubbly.

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