This Baked Ziti with Italian Sausage is an easy, delicious recipe that ranks up there as one of the best comfort food meals of all time. Enjoy!
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That first semester of freshman year in college was a game-changer for me. I had to learn how to do laundry. I had to learn how to live with 2 other guys in a room not much larger than a closet. I had to figure out how to eat a balanced diet. I had a meal plan, so my roommates and I would head to dinner at the “Marketplace” (aka freshmen cafeteria) each night. At first, I ate pizza every night, but I soon realized that wasn’t working out too well. That’s when I discovered the baked ziti.
I loved baked ziti nights at the Marketplace! If I recall, baked ziti was one of the options every Tuesday. And every Tuesday, I ate baked ziti. I loved baked ziti so much that it was one of the first meals that I taught myself how to make once I graduated and moved into an apartment.
Get this, though. There was a pasta brand ( I forget which one) that made ziti especially for baked ziti. It was a dry pasta, so I actually don’t know what was special about it. But I was naive when it came to cooking, so I assumed that I needed to use that special pasta to make baked ziti.
One Saturday morning, I went grocery shopping, and I discovered that special ziti was discontinued. Say what!? How could they do this to me? How was I supposed to make baked ziti!? I did what any logical 22-year old guy would do, and I bought the last 10 boxes of that pasta. Over the years, I’ve realized that you don’t need a special pasta to make baked ziti. (To be fair, that pasta didn’t need to get cooked first, so it was kinda handy.) Any pasta will work. You just need pasta, sauce and lots of delicious cheese. Oh, and some Italian sausage if you’re in the mood.
Baked Ziti with Italian Sausage
This Baked Ziti with Italian Sausage is pure comfort food in our house. Truth be told, you don’t really need a recipe for Baked Ziti with Italian Sausage. It’s kind of a dump-and-bake recipe. Then again, maybe some of you out there were like me and didn’t have the foggiest idea how to make baked ziti with Italian sausage. You gotta learn somewhere, right? And it is helpful to have ingredient amounts and baking times.
Without further ado, I bring you one of my all-time favorite dinners: Baked Ziti with Italian Sausage. I hope this cheesy, carb-y goodness brings a smile to your face like it does for me! Cheers, friends!
Did you make this Baked Ziti with Italian Sausage at home? Leave a comment. Or snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog)!
Looking for other tasty pasta recipes? Check out these favorites:
Baked Ziti with Italian Sausage
- Cook pasta in boiling salted water for 1 minute less than package instructions. (Pasta will continue to cook in the oven, so you can undercook it slightly in this step.)
- Using a large, deep skillet, add Italian sausage and place over medium-high heat. Cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until sausage is browned.
- Add onions and continue cooking for 4-5 more minutes, or until onions have softened slightly.
- Add garlic, basil, Italian seasonings and red pepper flakes; stir until well combined. Continue cooking for 1-2 more minutes.
- Add marinara sauce, stir and bring to a simmer.
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Using a large casserole dish, spread ~½ cup of sauce mixture into bottom. Using half of the container of ricotta cheese, drop spoonfuls evenly on top of sauce. Add several more large spoonfuls of sauce on top of the ricotta.
- Pour cooked pasta into the casserole dish; top with all of the remaining sauce and ricotta cheese.
- Spread shredded mozzarella and grated Parmesan evenly on top of sauce.
- Bake for 20 minutes, or until cheese has completely melted.