shapeimage_2-24.png

BAKED ZITI WITH ITALIAN SAUSAGE

  • 1 16 ounce package of ziti pasta
  • 1 green bell pepper, sliced in strips
  • 1 red, yellow or orange bell pepper, sliced in strips
  • 1 small box of mushrooms, sliced
  • ½ cup red onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 pound Italian pork sausage cut in small bites
  • 1 jar of marinara sauce, or your own sauce, totaling 2 cups**
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • Italian Seasonings (To your taste)
  • 1 large carton of Ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1 pound combined Mozzarella and Italian cheeses shredded (You may use any flavor combination that you enjoy)
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

In a large pot, bring lightly salted water to a boil.  Add ziti pasta and cook for 8 minutes to al dente, drain and rinse pasta.

In a medium skillet over medium high heat, add olive oil and cook sausage.  Drain and set aside.  If needed, add a little more olive oil to the pan, and sauté peppers, onion, garlic and mushrooms.  

In a large bowl, mix one egg, ricotta cheese, mozzarella and Italian cheese, ziti, sausage, vegetables and 1 ½ cups marinara or spaghetti sauce.  Pour into a greased 9 x 13 inch baking dish.  Top with reserved sauce and parmesan cheese.  ** To make this lighter, you may omit or cut back on the marinara sauce.  I now make mine with just 1/2 cup marinara.

Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 30 minutes.  Allow dish to stand for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.