Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Baked Ziti

1 pound Italian sausage, preferably bulk
1 large onion, diced
1 T minced garlic
1 28-ounce can tomatoes, chopped, with liquid
1 pound ziti or other large cut pasta
1 pound mozzarella, grated or chopped
olive oil or butter as needed
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan, optional
salt and pepper

Grease a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with butter.

Bring large pot of water to boil; salt it. Heat oven to 400°F.

Distribute meat in large skillet over medium high heat and cook, undisturbed, until browned on one side, about 5 minutes.

Stir and then cook another 2 minutes undisturbed.

Add the onion and garlic. Lower heat to medium and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are soft; add tomatoes and bring to a boil. Simmer while cooking pasta, stirring and seasoning with salt and pepper to taste; do not let sauce become too thick.

Cook pasta until just tender; it should still be too hard to eat. Drain it (do not shake the colander; allow some water to cling to the noodles) and toss it with the sauce and half the mozzarella.

Spoon mixture into baking dish. Top with remaining mozzarella and the Parmesan if using.

Bake until top is browned and cheese bubbly, 20 to 30 minutes.


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