Baked Ziti

A baked pasta dish made up of ziti pasta, marinara sauce, sweet Italian sausage, mozzarella cheese, and fresh spinach for some color, nutrition, and fiber.  I like to refer to this dish as my lazy-person’s lasagna.  It has a similar flavor profile to a traditional lasagna, but none of the hassle of layering in all of the ingredients – just give them a quick toss into a baking dish, shove it into the oven, and your done.

I have been known to make this dish on the grill during the summer months.  To grill the ziti, cover it in aluminum foil, and place it on the grill at a lower temp. to melt the cheese.  You will not get the golden cheesy crust on top, but it will still be tasty with the added benefit of not overheating your house.

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Ingredients:

The amounts of the ingredients used in this recipe is variable.  I usually just go by one box of pasta, one package of Italian sausage, one bag of shredded mozzarella etc. instead of weighing everything to the pound mark. Tailor it to your preference. 

  • 1 lb of Ziti pasta
  • 1 lb Italian Sausage
  • 1 lb of Marinara Sauce
  • 1 lb of Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1 lb of fresh Baby Spinach

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F (~177 C).
  2. Cook and drain your pasta.  Follow the instructions on your pasta box, or cook in boiling water for about 8 minutes.
  3. Cook and slice your Italian Sausages.
  4. Combine your pasta with the marinara sauce, sausages, spinach, and half of the cheese.
  5. Place the ziti in a large greased baking dish, and sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top.
  6. Bake for 30 – 35 minutes, until the cheese has melted and begun to turn golden brown.

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