Cheesy Baked Ziti with Sausage
Cheesy Baked Ziti is a great dish to make for your family, or a group of hungry kids! It’s filling, tasty, and the flavors are delicious! If you want a creamier texture, mix 1/4 cup of ricotta in with the pasta mixture before topping it with cheese and putting it in the oven. Enjoy!
1 (8 oz.) box ziti or rigatoni
1 tsp. olive oil
2 (3 oz.) spicy Italian sausage links, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 can diced tomatoes (including the juice)
1/8 – 1/4 tsp. oregano
1/4 cup half and half
1 tsp. chopped fresh sage
½ tsp thyme
1/2 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup shredded fresh mozzarella
¼ cup shredded fresh parmesan cheese
Sea salt and fresh black pepper
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add salt. Cook the rigatoni until al dente.
Meanwhile, heat a large oven-proof pan (or Dutch Oven) on the stove over medium heat. Add the sausage. Stir in the garlic and cook until sausage has browned and garlic is fragrant.
Add the diced tomatoes, oregano, and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for a few minutes before stirring in the half and half, oregano, basil, thyme and sage. Bring to a gentle simmer to thicken (5-10 minutes) and season to taste again, if necessary.
Add the pasta to the sauce and stir to coat. Remove from the stove, top with the fresh mozzarella and parmesan. Put the pan in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until cheese is browned and bubbly.
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