Ziti Al Forno con Salsiccia (Baked Ziti with Sausage)
Author: Pizza Today
Recipe type: entrees
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ cup coarsely chopped onion
- 1 pound sweet Italian sausage (casing removed), or uncooked bulk Italian sausage with fennel
- 3 cups tomato puree or pizza sauce (if already seasoned; leave out basil and oregano)
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano, crumbled
- 2 teaspoons dried basil, crumbled
- 1cup (8 ounces) ricotta cheese
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup chopped parsley (flat-leaf if possible)
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 pound ziti pasta (penne may be substituted)
- ½ pound shredded mozzarella (about 2 cups)
- In a large sauté pan, warm the olive oil over medium-high heat for 1 minute.
- Add the onion and sauté, stirring, for 2 minutes.
- Add the Italian sausage and cook and stir for 5-6 minutes, or until the sausage is cooked through.
- Remove from the heat and drain off excess grease.
- Add the tomato puree, oregano, and basil.
- Cook the sauce at a steady simmer while preparing the rest of the dish. (Can be made ahead.)
- In a large bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, salt, parsley, and Parmesan.
- Set aside.
- In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta a bit more than half way.
- Drain the pasta and add it to the ricotta cheese mixture.
- Preheat the oven to 425 F.
- Take the sauce off the heat and allow it to cool for 5 minutes.
- Add the sauce to the pasta and ricotta mixture and combine well.
- Pour the pasta-sauce mixture into a 4- to 5-quart baking pan.
- Level the top with the back of a spoon.
- Spread the mozzarella evenly over the pasta and bake until the cheese browns and the sauce bubbles, about 20 minutes.
- To order, place a portion in an ovenproof skillet or serving dish and reheat as needed.
- Top with extra sauce and cheese.