Baked Ziti With Hot Italian Sausage & Fresh Mozzarella

Total Time
1hr 15mins
Prep 30 mins
Cook 45 mins

This is a modified version of a recipe given to me by Momma Maglione. Her recipe does not include the sausage and uses her secret family gravy recipe which I cannot post. ;)

Ingredients Nutrition

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cook ziti until it is al dente (so that when you bake it in the oven it will cook the rest of the way). Rinse in cold water, drain and pour into a 7"x11" glass baking dish.
  3. Meanwhile, begin cooking sausage.
  4. Puree San Marzano tomatoes, crushed red pepper flakes and salt in a blender until smooth.
  5. When sausage is done, remove from pan and add 1/2 cup wine to reserved drippings from sausage and bring to a simmer scraping any bits from the bottom of the pan and stirring with wine. While wine is simmering, slice sausage at a slight diagonal about 1/2" thick.
  6. Add pureed sauce and sliced sausage to wine and stir. Bring to a boil and simmer gently for 10 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile thinly slice and chop the fresh mozarella balls (some people recommend freezing for a 5 minutes or so to help with slicing, but I never do).
  8. When sauce is done simmering, pour everything over pasta. Sprinkle 1 cup of the fresh mozzarella throughout (fresh makes all the difference!) and sprinkle the rest on top. Top with a few shakes of crushed red pepper.
  9. Bake for approximately 45 minutes or until you see it getting a little bubbly. You can even cook it longer it you want it to get a little crisp on top, not too crisp as it will get dry.
  10. Serve with a bottle of wine and some nice Italian music.
Most Helpful

Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe. The dish is really quick and easy to make and tastes great. We really enjoyed all the lovely flavors in this pasta dish. I used hot Italian sausage and a mixed variety of pasta . They worked really well in this dish. This was a great comfort meal. Made for Best of 2015.

Baby Kato February 16, 2016

I made this with homemade rabbit sausage, Solare ancient grains gluten free penne, and shredded mozzarella, plus it ended up just being cooked in the skillet as I ran out of time. Very tasty. Note: taste before you add red pepper flakes as the heat of the sausage may be all you need.

sheepdoc January 20, 2015