An easy baked ziti casserole with ricotta cheese and meat sauce with Italian sausage. Make it for dinner, tonight!
Hello Cheesy Goodness! Baked Ziti is a classic baked pasta dish that will speak to the 5 year old or college student in anyone. For this recipe, I made my own pasta sauce. Which meant I can add as many mushrooms as I wanted. Bring on the mushrooms! While it does take a little bit longer, the flavor and taste was so much better. If you do decide to use a premade jar of sauce, still add in the Petite Syrah wine, sugar, and butter. It will help the sauce taste a bit more homemade.
- 1 lb sweet Italian Sausage
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 lbs. Ziti
- 15 oz Ricotta Cheese
- 1½ cups Mozzarella Cheese
- 1 cup Parmesan Cheese
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 8oz sliced Mushrooms
- 2 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 tablespoon grated carrots
- ¼ cup Petite Syrah wine
- 2 15 oz can tomato sauce
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- ⅛ teaspoon sugar
- ⅛ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon butter
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon pepper
- Prep the ingredients: Chop the onion, grate the carrots, and mince the garlic. Heat a pot of water on the stove. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Cook the Italian Sausage: In a 12 inch skillet, cook the Italian sausage with 1 cup of chopped onions for about 10 minutes until browned. Move the sausage to a plate lined with a paper towel to drain the grease. Carefully wipe out the pan.
- Prepare the Sauce: Once the water is boiling, add the Ziti to the water and cook per the directions on the box. Add the olive oil, mushrooms to the skillet and saute till the mushrooms are nearly cooked. Then add the onion, grated carrots, garlic and cook until somewhat browned. Pour in the Petite Syrah wine to deglaze the pan and add your tomato sauce. Reduce the heat to low and let it simmer. Mix the Italian sausage back into the sauce. Add your Italian seasoning, sugar, red pepper flakes, butter, salt and pepper. Let the sauce sit for at least 10 minutes.
- Mix the Ziti: Drain your cooked pasta and rinse in cold water quickly. Add the Ziti to a bowl and mix in the container of ricotta cheese, 1 cup of mozzarella, and ½ cup Parmesan cheese. Add the tomato sauce, leave a little sauce to put on top of the pasta. Stir well so the pasta, sauce and cheese are thoroughly mixed. Add the mixture to a baking dish and top with the extra sauce and ½ cup mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.
- Bake the Ziti: Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Once done, remove from the oven and let the casserole sit for 10 minutes before serving.
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