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. ;)
- 16 ounces ziti pasta
- 4 hot Italian sausage links (about 1 lb)
- 1⁄2 cup white wine (I typically use pinot grigio, but any white or even red will work well)
- 1 (32 ounce) can san marzano tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups fresh mozzarella cheese (in water, I get mine at Costco)
- serve with the rest of your bottle wine, and some nice italian music
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- 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.
- Meanwhile, begin cooking sausage.
- Puree San Marzano tomatoes, crushed red pepper flakes and salt in a blender until smooth.
- 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.
- Add pureed sauce and sliced sausage to wine and stir. Bring to a boil and simmer gently for 10 minutes.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- Serve with a bottle of wine and some nice Italian music.