Recipe: Easy Baked Ziti

We had a couple of friends over for dinner last night and I know from years of my Mom making it – Baked Ziti is always a crowd pleaser. My husband actually dreamed up substituting sausage for ground beef and I think it was a great choice! I served it with Caesar salad and fresh garlic bread. I will definitely be making this super easy recipe for years to come.

Easy Baked Ziti, Serves 8
Ingredients:

-4 cups spaghetti sauce (I bought jars and used a little under 2 jars but you could also make your own)
-1 16oz package of ziti or penne
-1 pound hot or medium ground sausage (or ground beef or turkey)
-1 15oz container of part-skim ricotta cheese
-1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
-1 egg, slightly beaten
-1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
-3/4 teaspoon salt
-1/4 teaspoon pepper
-1 8oz package mozzarella cheese
Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. If you are making your own, prepare spaghetti sauce.
3. Boil noodles as directed on box (usually 11-13 minutes) in salted water. Drain.
4. Cook ground sausage until well browned, about 10 minutes. Drain.
5. In a separate bowl mix ricotta, parmesan, beaten egg, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper.
6. Pour noodles, spaghetti sauce (save a little bit for step 7), and ricotta mixture in a pot and mix. I used the same pot as I used to boil the noodles.
7. Pour mixture into a 13×9 casserole dish. Drizzle a little extra spaghetti sauce on top. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.
8. Bake for 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
Adapted from The Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook

In addition to the Baked Ziti I also made chocolate chip dough balls for dessert. A different version on the cinnamon sugar variety I made a couple weeks ago. Yum!

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