Italian Sausage Baked Ziti

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I’m so happy to be partnering with Johnsonville sausage today and sharing one of our favorite family recipes, baked ziti. Johnsonville wanted us bloggers to revamp our favorite Italian recipes by substituting ground Italian sausage for ground beef. And while this isn’t exactly an Italian recipe, since it’s an Italian American dish, I think it counts.

Baked ziti os one of those classic comfort foods that we all love. The baked pasta, hearty sauce and cheesy goodness is just so amazing.  It’s the perfect dish to make anytime, whether it’s a busy weeknight, or to entertain with family and friends.

For this baked ziti, I start with Ground Italian sausage from Johnsonville. Using sausage instead of ground beef adds so much flavor. Then I add finely chopped onion, bell peppers and carrots. All these veggies really help to add nutrition to this dish, and great flavor.

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After the meat has browned, and the vegetables are cooked through, I add a jar of my favorite spaghetti sauce and about a cup of red wine. The after it heats through, I mix the cooked pasta, sauce and a good bit of ricotta together. I then pour that into my casserole dish, add some more sauce on top and then lots of shredded mozzerella, more ricotta in dollops and Parmasen cheese.

Then I just bake the ziti until the cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbly. To serve, I just make a simple Caesar salad and dinner is done!

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Italian Sausage Baked Ziti

Ingredients:

1 lb Johnsonville ground Italian sausage
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
1 medium bell pepper, finely chopped
2 medium carrots, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 jar of your favorite pasta sauce
1 cups red wine
1 15 oz container ricotta cheese
1 12 oz package ziti or penne pasta

2 cups shredded mozzarella or Italian blend cheeses

Directions:

Heat oven to 350°. Heat medium skillet over medium heat. Add ground sausage, onion, bell pepper, carrots and garlic to skillet. Cook over medium heat until sausage is browned and vegetables are cooked through. Add pasta sauce and red wine. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.

Cook pasta according to package directions just shy of al dente. Drain pasta and add to a large bowl. Add half of pasta sauce and all of ricotta cheese. Mix well and pour into 9 x 13 casserole dish. Top with the rest of the pasta sauce and the shredded cheese.

Bake at 350° for 10 - 15 minutes, or until cheese has melted and pasta is bubbly. Serve with salad and enjoy!



This post sponsored by Johnsonville. All opinions 100% mine.

17 Responses to “Italian Sausage Baked Ziti”

  1. 1
    Bea — November 14, 2014 @ 1:29 pm

    Love any pasta and baked pasta is the best. Your recipe sounds and looks fantastic.

  2. 2
    Cookin+Canuck — November 14, 2014 @ 1:49 pm

    Baked ziti is one of our favorite meals to feed a crowd. This looks wonderful, Angie!

  3. 3
    Paula+-+bell'alimento — November 14, 2014 @ 1:51 pm

    Love a good baked pasta dish! So perfect for cold weather!

  4. 4
    The+Food+Hunter — November 14, 2014 @ 2:42 pm

    Love everything about this~

  5. 5
    Ashley @ Wishes & Dishes — November 14, 2014 @ 3:25 pm

    Mmm Italian food at it’s finest! I love baked ziti! Your recipe sounds wonderful.

  6. 6
    Lana @ Never Enough Thyme — November 14, 2014 @ 4:19 pm

    I sometimes substitute Italian sausage for all of part of the ground beef in my spaghetti sauce. Gives such a great flavor! Baked ziti is another of our favorite Italian-American recipes and I’ll be trying your version soon!

  7. 7
    Brenda@Sugar-Free+Mom — November 14, 2014 @ 4:52 pm

    I love Italian sausage, so many uses! This is A wonderful family meal!

  8. 8
    Ginny+McMeans — November 14, 2014 @ 11:05 pm

    I absolutely love ziti casseroles. Good job here too!

  9. 9
    Heather // girlichef — November 15, 2014 @ 11:17 am

    Italian sausage is one of my favorites…especially in a comforting pasta dish like this. I would be entirely ecstatic to have this on my table today!

  10. 10
    Jessica (Savory Experiments) — November 15, 2014 @ 4:59 pm

    This is a classic in our home! We love baked ziti for Sunday dinner.

  11. 11
    Nutmeg+Nanny — November 16, 2014 @ 10:20 pm

    Baked ziti is a household favorite around here too! I love that you used italian sausage…it’s my favorite!

  12. 12
    Aly ~ Cooking In Stilettos — November 16, 2014 @ 10:54 pm

    I LOVE using Italian sausage in a host of recipes and this baked ziti is a winner! Love this recipe!

  13. 13
    Kim Beaulieu — November 17, 2014 @ 11:35 pm

    I love pasta so very much. This recipe is absolutely fabulous. I just want to make a giant batch of this and nosh till I can’t nosh any more.

  14. 14
    Kellie+@+The+Suburban+Soapbox — November 18, 2014 @ 8:12 am

    GAH! This looks so incredible…sausage with pasta is a huge hit in my house and this cheesy treat would be a favorite for sure!

  15. 15
    Angela {Mind Over Batter} — November 18, 2014 @ 8:36 am

    Baked ziti is one of my favorite meals. I can just imagine the smell of the sausage cooking and the flavor must be out of this world amazing!

  16. 16
    Miss+@+Miss+in+the+Kitchen — November 18, 2014 @ 8:46 am

    This is my kind of comfort food and I know my boys would love it!

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