Baked Ziti with Italian Sausage
Submitted by: The Kitchen at Johnsonville Sausage
See how Johnsonville does comfort food! This delicious baked ziti dish is jammed with flavor and beautiful ingredients. Johnsonville Italian Sausages, eggplant, plum tomatoes, olives, basil, onions, and garlic combine to create a symphony of flavors!
- Servings: 4 to 6
Baked Ziti with Italian Sausage
What you need
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 package (19 ounce) JOHNSONVILLE® Sweet Italian Sausage , removed from casing* (*Cut sausage link end to end, about three-quarters of the way through. Flip sausage link over, grasp casing and pull off.)
- 1 small eggplant, cut into ½ inch cubes
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 1 can (28 ounces) crushed plum tomatoes
- 4 cups ziti, cooked al dente
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
- 1/3 cup Kalamata olives, chopped
- 2 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
- kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
- 1 Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta until al dente.
- 2 Drain and rinse in cold water, cover and set aside.
- 3 Position a rack in the upper third of an oven and preheat to 400°F.
- 4 In a 12 inch nonstick fry pan, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat.
- 5 Add decased sausage and cook, crumbling with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink and cooked through about 5 to 7 minutes.
- 6 Remove from heat and transfer to a large bowl.
- 7 Using the same pan, heat 4 teaspoons of the olive oil. Add the eggplant and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and the edges are starting to brown, about 6 to 8 minutes.
- 8 Remove from heat and transfer to the bowl with the sausage.
- 9 Set the same pan over medium heat and warm the remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil.
- 10 Add the onion and cook until softened. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the wine, increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil, stirring to scrape up any brown bits.
- 11 Cook until the liquid is almost evaporated, about 3 minutes.
- 12 Add the can of crushed tomatoes and simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes.
- 13 In the bowl with the eggplant and sausage, add the cooked pasta, basil, olives, 2 cups of the mozzarella and the tomato sauce and mix to combine; season with salt and pepper.
- 14 Transfer this mixture to a 9X13 inch lightly oiled baking dish (or the oven proof 12 inch fry pan).
- 15 Sprinkle the remaining ½ cup of mozzarella and the Parmesan cheese on top.
- 16 Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 25 minutes.
- 17 Uncover and broil for 2 to 4 minutes, keeping a close eye, until the cheese is lightly golden.
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