This baked ziti with sausage and ricotta cheese is one of my family’s favorite dinners.
I wanted to make baked ziti with sausage for the fam last night, but did not want a traditional recipe that included tomato sauce and diced tomatoes. I’ve read recently that tomatoes, beans and whole grains are not the best for your gut health, so I’ve been trying to limit these foods in our diet.
I’m pleased to report that baked ziti can be just as delicious without the tomatoes and tomato sauce. Yay!
This is basically a baked ziti with sausage and mozzarella dish with italian parsley sprinkled on top, however, you can spice it up with the following variations:
- Baked ziti with sausage and ground beef
- Baked ziti with sausage and spinach
- Baked ziti with sausage and peppers (red or green bell peppers chopped up into small pieces would be great).
I’m really excited to add this recipe to our dinner rotation. One day a week, the kids just need a pasta dinner of some sort, and I was getting tired of spaghetti with tomato basil sauce or macaroni and cheese. This ziti adds a nice variety.
Its also excellent for heating up again the next night or packing in a thermos for lunches the next day.
I think next time, I will add in some spinach, for a better protein/veggie balance.
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Baked Ziti with Sausage
This baked ziti with sausage and ricotta cheese is one of my family's favorite dinners.
- 12 oz ziti pasta, uncooked
- 2 lbs Italian sausage (mild or hot)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
- 1 16 oz ricotta cheese
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/8 tsp fresh ground pepper
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
Cook the ziti according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
In medium skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil and place sausage in skillet turned to medium heat. Cook until browned. Remove sausage from skillet and slice sausage into bite sized pieces.
Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan over low heat. Add flour, stirring until smooth. Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Gradually add the milk, cooker medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture is thickened and bubbly.
Stir in 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, 1 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper. Add in the ziti, stir well and set aside.
Place half of the ziti mixture in a lightly greased 13x9x2 inch baking dish. Top with the ricotta cheese mixture and half of the sausage. Top with the remaining ziti mixture and sausages. Sprinkle with the mozzarella cheese and paprika.
Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.
Adapted from Genius Kitchen