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Baked Ziti with Italian Sausage Recipe

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Baked Ziti with Italian Sausage Recipe

This baked ziti with Italian sausage is perfect for cozy meals at home. It’s great for family dinners or potlucks. This recipe skips ricotta for a creamier texture.

It uses Italian sausage for a rich taste. Serve it with a fresh Italian salad and warm focaccia for a perfect meal. This dish is loved by all and is great as a make-ahead meal.

Exact Ingredients (+ Possible Substitutes)

To make a wonderful baked ziti with Italian sausage, you need some key items. Here’s a big list, including things you can swap, to help you cook with ease:

  • Ziti noodles: If you can’t find ziti, rigatoni or penne works great.
  • Bulk Italian sausage: Toss the casings and use sausage links as another option.
  • Garlic: Always go for freshly minced garlic for that strong taste.
  • Crushed tomatoes: Pick a great brand for a tasty sauce.
  • Salt: Key for making the dish just right.
  • Sugar: A bit of sugar helps even out the tomato’s acidity.
  • Red pepper flakes: To spice things up, add red pepper flakes to your liking.
  • Heavy cream: It offers a creamy touch to the ziti.
  • Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano Reggiano cheese: Either cheese adds a salty kick.
  • Fresh basil: Sprinkle fresh basil for a lovely scent in your ziti.
  • Whole milk mozzarella: It’s must-have for a cheesy, rich ziti.

Cooking easy pasta dishes like baked ziti is all about the right ingredients. Italian cuisine loves fresh, top-quality ingredients. Though these are the best ingredients, you can use what’s available. This way, you can create Italian dishes that you really like.


To start your baked ziti, preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Boil the ziti noodles in salted water. Take them off the heat before they are fully cooked. This keeps them firm for baking. Then, drain the pasta and set it aside.

Next, cook the Italian sausage in a skillet over medium-high heat. Use a spoon to break it up while cooking until browned. After it’s browned, mix in crushed tomatoes, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and a bit of heavy cream. Let this sauce simmer for 10 minutes to blend the flavors. This is an important step for your Italian sausage dish.

Now, mix everything together. In a big bowl, combine the ziti, sausage-tomato sauce, and the cheeses. Use mozzarella and Pecorino Romano for their great taste. Put this mix in a greased baking dish. You can prepare it ahead and keep it in the fridge until baking.

Finally, bake for 25-30 minutes until the top is golden and bubbly. The flavors and textures combine perfectly in the oven. Let it cool a bit before enjoying. Now, you’ve made a delicious baked ziti with rich flavor.

jenny happy muncher
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Jenny has always been passionate about cooking, and she uses her platform to share her joy of food with others. Her recipes are easy to follow, and she loves giving tips and tricks to help others create their own unique culinary creations.