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Baked Ziti With Spinach & Sausage


Baked Ziti With Spinach & Sausage Recipe

A pan of baked ziti is a crowd pleaser but it usually is a lot of work. Here’s a way to streamline the process into one Dutch ovens and a quick meat sauce.

First, brown the Italian sausage, garlic and onions.

Next, use your favorite jarred marina sauce. Oregano and red pepper flakes contribute to complexity and add some heat, while just 1/2 a teaspoon of sugar temper the acidity.

For a lively note, stir in basil along with the noodles.

Baked Ziti with Spinach and Sausage Cook Time = 1 Hours

Cook the pasta directly in the sauce, adding 2 cups of water to ensure there is enough liquid to adequately cook the ziti. Simmering the pasta until it wis only partially cooked keeps the noodles from turning mushy when placing the pot under the broiler.

And since no baked ziti is complete without plenty of cheese, stir in Parmesan and mozzarella before moving the pot to the oven. Then, dolloped the surface with ricotta and gave it a final to.ping of more mozzarella and Parmesan, which melts and browns into a crust.

To make this a true one-pot meal, stir in a few handfuls of baby spinach with the cheese.
Part-skim ricotta and part-skim mozzarella cheese can be substituted, if desired.

Do not use pre-shredded cheese, as it does not melt well.

Cook sausage in Dutch oven over medium-high heat, breaking meat into 1/2 inch pieces, until lightly browned, about 5 minute s. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in tomato sauce, tomatoes and their juice, oregano, salt, sugar, and pepper flakes and bring mixture to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until thicken ed, about 10 minutes.

Stir in pasta, water, and 1/4-cup basil; increase heat to high and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer vigorously, stirring often, until pasta is still very firm but just starting to soften, 6 to 8 minutes.

Baked Ziti with Spinach and Sausage Serves 4 – 6

Meanwhile, adjust oven rack 8 inches from broiler clement and heat broiler. Off heat, stir in spinach, 1/4-cup mozzarella, and 3/4 cup Parmesan. Dollop surface of pasta evenly with ricotta. Top with remaining . cup mozzarella and remaining . cup Parmesan. Broil until cheese is bubbling and beginning to brown, 5 to 7 minutes.

Transfer pot to wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons basil and serve.

To remove the sausage meat from its casing before cooking , hold the sausage firmly at one end and squeeze the meat out through the opposite end.

Baked Ziti with Spinach and Sausage Ingredients

8 ounces sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 (28-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 ( 14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
l teaspoons minced fresh oregano or 1/2 teaspoon dried
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/9 teaspoon red pepper flakes
12 ounces (3 3/4 cups) ziti
2 cups water
6 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
7 ounces(7 cups) baby spinach, chopped coarse
6 ounces whole-milk mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/4 inch pieces (l 1/2 cups)
2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (1 cup)
8 ounces(1 cup) whole-milk ricotta cheese

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