Sunday, July 1, 2012

Baked Ziti with Sausage

Ingredients: 1 lb. italian sausage 2 cloves garlic, minced 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes 15 oz. can diced tomatoes 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper 2 Tbsp. basil, minced 1/2 tsp. salt 1/4 tsp. sugar 8 oz. mozzarella, shredded (2 cups)* 1/4 cup Parmesan, shredded 1 lb. ziti pasta Instructions: Cook pasta according to package instructions, reserving 1/2 cup of cooking water before draining. Cook 1 lb. italian sausage in skillet, casings removed. Drain sausage and set aside, reserving 1 Tbsp. oil in the pan. Add minced garlic, and stir until fragrant. Add tomatoes with juices, crushed red pepper and sausage. Simmer 15 minutes, until thickened and flavorful. Remove from heat and add basil, salt and sugar. Pour pasta back into pot and add sausage mixture. If sauce seems too thick, add reserved cooking water (I usually do this because it makes for better leftovers). Spray 9x13 pan lightly with Pam. Put half of pasta mixture into pan. Cover with half of both cheeses. Repeat. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. * NOTE: It's worth the extra dollars to buy fresh mozzarella on this recipe. It makes the dish creamy good.

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