Baked Ziti With Tomato, Mozzarella and Sausage

"I was horrified one night to discover I had misplaced this recipe, and had to go without. So, here it is for safekeeping. Recipe originally from Fine Cooking. Although it claims to serve four, it seems to make an incredible amount. I freeze half of what it makes before baking, to be enjoyed another evening."
photo by skat5762 photo by skat5762
photo by skat5762
Ready In:
1hr 20mins




  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Lightly oil a large, shallow baking dish.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  • In a large skillet, heat about 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat.
  • Add the onion and saute until soft, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and crumbled sausage; saute until the sausage begins to brown.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • If the sausage renders a lot of fat, pour most of it off leaving a little to add flavor to the sauce.
  • Add the red wine; boil until it is almost gone.
  • Add the tomatoes with all of their juices and cook, uncovered, at a lively simmer for about 10 minutes. The sauce will thicken slightly.
  • Add the marjoram or oregano and taste for seasoning.
  • In a large mixing bowl, mix together ricotta, about half the grated pecorino, the nutmeg, and the parsley. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Meanwhile, cook the pasta until al dente.
  • Drain well and toss it with the ricotta mixture until well coated.
  • Add the sausage and sauce and mix again.
  • Add the mozzarella and toss gently.
  • Pour everything into the baking dish and sprinkle the remaining Pecorino on top.
  • Bake uncovered until lightly browned and bubbling, about 20 minutes.
  • Serve right away.

Questions & Replies

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  1. jane49423
    A quick and delicious recipe that I made for my son's 17th birthday.
  2. heather in Ont
    A keeper for sure! I made this to take to a friend who is out of commission at the moment. I found this recipe on the Fine Cooking Site and it doesn't say anything about 4 medium tomatoes so I am not sure if this is something you have added or a typo. I used Pecorino Romano cheese and added a little more than ¾ cup to the topping. You could substitute fresh Parmesan, Asiago, or Grana Padano cheese for the Pecorino. The smell of this cooking was heavenly. I had to make another dish the next day just to try it. DD and I have been eating the left overs cold because it taste so good. The second batch I added a little tomato sauce to the tomato and sausage mixture just to thicken it up a bit. I used fresh oregano and parsley which I think helps with the flavour. I may add some red pepper flakes next time or use 1/2 hot and 1/2 mild Italian sausage to give it a little kick. This was a hit in our house and my friends. I just wished I had found this recipe sooner.
  3. dc
    I am clearly the minority with this recipe but I just wanted to warn anyone who hasn't used pecorino cheese before (like me prior to this recipe)....this was NOT a good recipe for me - completely due to the cheese. I don't know if my pecorino wasn't "mild" or what - but I basically spent $25 buying ingredients and had to throw it all away because the cheese was NOT good for me or my family. I would just recommend using a different cheese than the pecorino unless you KNOW you like it. I am sure the recipe would have been fine if I had used different cheese!
  4. luvbeingamom
    I love it! Made some mior adjustments due to availability - but all in all the "recipe" is fantastic! To readers with kids - try with rotelle/rotini it is easy to get on a fork for them and the rings hold all of the sauce..
  5. Dr. Jenny
    DH and I had this dish for dinner last night. We really enjoyed it. I loved the hot, spicy flavor of the Italian sausage and all of the decadent cheese. I only had 1 pound of sausage, so that's what I used and I think I used a 28 oz (versus 35 oz) can of plum tomatoes because that is also what I had on hand. Otherwise, we did not change a thing. We served this with baked Italian bread, sprinkled with Pecorino cheese. Thanks for this recipe.


  1. Chipfo
    Very good, I made this at a friends house and it was a hit, I had to sub parmesan for the pecorino because I could not find any. I also used 4 medium tomatoes instead of 40, this has to be a typo, and threw in 8 oz of sliced mushrooms, other than that I followed the recipe exactly - delicious! I served this with a salad and Mean Chef's Buttermilk Honey Bread.


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