This Baked Ziti with Italian Sausage Recipe caught my attention because there are a couple of ingredients I don’t normally use. Ziti pasta was very hard to find- actually so hard that in this little town I did not find any; so I substituted Penne Pasta which worked out very well. I thought finding Kalamata olives was going to be a challenge, but it was not. This is a simple recipe, but there is quite a bit of prep time. The original recipe called for red wine; I used Marsala because I like its unique taste. This recipe also calls for egg plant which is another ingredient I have not used because I normally don’t care for the taste- however in this recipe it was good. The next time I make this I think I will substitute or add zucchini; I think it would blend with the other flavors very well. If you’re in the mood for Italian give this Baked Ziti with Italian Sausage Recipe a try, you and your family will love it.
|Baked Ziti with Italian Sausage Recipe||
- 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 pound bulk sweet Italian Sausage
- 1 small eggplant (cut into 1/2 inch cubes)
- 1 Medium onion (chopped)
- 4 cloves of garlic (sliced)
- 1/2 cup Marsala wine
- 1 can crushed tomatoes (28 ounce)
- 1 box Ziti or Penne pasta (16 ounces)
- 1/4 cup fresh Basil (chopped)
- 1/3 cup Kalamata olives (diced)
- 2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup fresh shredded Parmesan cheese
- Boil pasta according to package directions to al dente. Drain and rinse.
- In a large frying pan or wok add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and cook the bulk Italian sausage until browned and no long pink inside. Set aside in a large bowl.
- Using the same pan add 3 teaspoons of olive oil, the cubed egg plant, and cook until tender and slightly browned then add it to the sausage.
- In the same pan using 2 teaspoons of olive oil, cook the garlic and onion, till the onion is translucent. Add the wine and boil till most of the liquid is evaporated; add the crushed tomatoes and simmer until thickened.(this step is fairly quick-should only take about 10 minutes)
- It’s time to put it all together-in the a large bowl with the sausage and egg plant add the Ziti pasta, basil, Kalamata olives, 1 1/2 cup Mozzarella cheese and the tomato sauce, combine thoroughly. Transfer to a 9 x 13 casserole dish sprayed with cooking spray.
- Sprinkle with the remaining Mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese evenly over the top. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove aluminum foil and broil uncovered till cheese turns a light brown.
- Serve hot and enjoy.