Baked Ziti with Italian Sausage
Servings4 to 6 servings
good but could be better. I like this recipe but feel the flavors could be improved by the addition of a few fennel seeds and a small pinch of red pepper flakes added near the end of sautÃ©eing the onion and garlic. Will try that next time. — Sandy
- 1 package (19 ounce) Johnsonville® Sweet Italian Sausage Links, casings removed
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 4 cups ziti pasta (approximately 12 ounces)
- 1 small eggplant, cut into ½ inch cubes
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 1 can (28 ounces) crushed plum tomatoes
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil, chopped
- 1/3 cup Kalamata olives, chopped
- 2 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, divided
- Season to taste with salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
- In a 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium heat. Add sausage, crumble and cook until no longer pink and lightly browned. Drain and transfer into a large mixing bowl.
- Meanwhile prepare ziti according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water, cover and set aside.
- Using the same skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat. Add eggplant and cook until tender and lightly browned. Transfer to bowl with sausage. Using the same skillet, heat remaining oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, sauté until tender
- Pour wine into skillet, increase heat to medium-high and continue to stir until most of the liquid has evaporated. Add tomatoes and reduce heat to medium. Simmer for 10 minutes.
- In the bowl with the sausage mixture, add cooked pasta, basil, olives, 2 cups of mozzarella cheese, tomato sauce, salt and pepper. Stir to combine ingredients. Transfer mixture to a greased 3-quart baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.
- Cover and bake at 400°F for 25-30 minutes. Uncover and bake for 5 minutes longer, or until lightly browned. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.