Prep 10 mins
Cook 30 mins
This has the flavors of lasagna, but is easier to put together. I combined elements from several different recipes and it worked out well.
- 8 ounces ziti pasta
- 2 Italian sausages, I use turkey sausage
- 1 cup diced tomato, seasoned with garlic & basil
- 2 cups marinara sauce, I use Ragu
- 1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
- 1⁄3 cup parmesan cheese, grated (split in half)
- 1 1⁄2 cups part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded (reserve 1/2 cup for top)
- 1⁄4 cup pesto sauce, ready-made
- 1⁄2 teaspoon black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 350 and spray an 8 X 8 baking dish with non-stick spray.
- In a large pot of boiling water, cook the ziti pasta for 7 minutes and drain.
- Meanwhile, cut up the sausages and brown in a skillet over medium heat.
- Add tomatoes and spaghetti sauce, and simmer for a few minutes.
- In a bowl, combine ricotta, half of the parmesan, and 1 cup of the mozzarella cheeses with 1/4 pesto sauce, and season with black pepper.
- Spoon a little of the sauce into the casserole dish and add half of the pasta.
- Add half of the remaining sauce.
- Add all of the cheese mixture.
- Add the remaining pasta, then the remaining sauce.
- Top with 1/2 cup mozzarella and remaining parmesan cheese.
- Bake uncovered for 30 minutes.
We make and enjoy ziti often as comfort food and something easy to package and freeze for later quick meals. This is as good as what we usually make, which is saying something! The cheesy, saucy center layer gives this casserole that "something special." Made for PRMR, Jan. 09.
We LOVE this recipe! One of my DDs who is my right hand gal in the kitchen found this recipe while searching the site for something she could help me make for dinner one night. We doubled the recipe so we could freeze one for a later time...the later time came in the form of lunch the next day! Even my children who do not like pasta with sauce (sad but true) cleaned their plates. Thanks for posting this delicious recipe!
I did not use the ricotta as I dont like it. It was very good otherwise!