Baked Ziti and Sausage Casserole
- Ready In:
- 1hr 15mins
- 2 1⁄2 cups uncooked ziti pasta
- 3 tablespoons oil
- 1 lb Italian sausage (casings removed, can use more!)
- 1⁄4 cup butter
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh minced garlic (or to taste)
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper (or to taste) (optional)
- 1⁄4 cup flour
- seasoning salt or white salt
- black pepper
- 2 cups half-and-half
- 1⁄3 cup parmesan cheese
- 1 (1 lb) carton cream-style cottage cheese
- 1⁄4 cup parmesan cheese
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- salt and pepper
- 1⁄4 lb mozzarella cheese, grated
- Set oven to 350 degrees.
- Grease a 3-quart baking dish.
- Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling water until JUST tender (do not over-cook the pasta as it will cook more in the oven!).
- Place the cooked pasta in a large bowl.
- Heat oil; add in the sausage meat and cook until browned, remove to a plate.
- For the white sauce; melt butter in a medium saucepan; add the onion, garlic and cayenne pepper if using) saute for about 3-4 minutes.
- Add in flour and whisk for 1 minute.
- Slowly add in half and half cream; bring to a simmer, whisking constantly until thickened.
- Remove from heat; add in 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, then season with seasoned salt (or white salt) and pepper to taste.
- Pour the cheese sauce over the cooked pasta in the bowl; mix with a wooden spoon.
- In a medium bowl mix together the cottage cheese with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, egg and chopped parsley, then season with salt and lots of pepper.
- Spoon HALF of the creamed ziti mixture into the prepared baking dish, then spread the cottage cheese mixture on top, then spoon the remaining pasta mixture on top of the cottage cheese mixture.
- Sprinkle the cooked sausage meat on the top.
- Top with mozzarella cheese, then sprinkle paprika on top.
- Bake uncovered for about 30-35 minutes or until bubbly and hot.
- Let stand about 5 or more minutes before serving.
Questions & Replies
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Good but I botched it a little especially in the area of the sauce. I followed the directions as best I could, but dyslexia kicked in where step 5 got split into 2 steps and I read 1 tsp flour which is what I added thinking the rest would go in later, the directions didn't tell me to do anything with the half-and-half and I failed to notice so it didn't go in and the directions say 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, but the ingredient list says 1/3; I used 1/4. At the time I didn't think much of it, just tossed it with the pasta and it was actually really good that way. It wasn't really until it came out of the oven and I tasted it that it clicked that something was wrong. The pasta got a little crunchy and it seemed like the dish should have been creamier which it should have been. I'm sure it will be even better with the sauce made the right way. I'd probably add another sausage link next time (just personal preference to have a little more meat), but other than that, I'm sure once the directions get fixed it'll be perfect.