Baked ziti is a great recipe to prepare ahead of time and heat up for a weeknight. Serve with a salad and bread and you are set!
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2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons tomato paste
28 ounces whole peeled tomatoes
28 ounces tomato puree
1/2 pound Italian sausage
1 pound ziti pasta
1 pound ricotta
3/4 cups Parmesan and romano cheese mix
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 pound shredded Mozzarella,
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Heat olive oil in a pan and add onion, garlic and Italian sausage.
Saute the onion and garlic while the sausage browns, breaking it up with a spatula.
After the onions become translucent and the sausage is browned, add tomato paste and stir to combine.
Using your hands, crush the whole peeled tomatoes directly into the pot along with the juices from the can.
Pour in the tomato puree.
Season generously with salt and pepper.
Bring to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta as directed on the packaging. But do not cook longer than al dente. It will continue to cook in the oven later.
In a bowl, mix the ricotta, cream, and Parmesan/romano cheeses.
When the tomato sauce is done, it’s time to assemble the dish in a baking dish.
Mix 3 cups of tomato sauce with the drained pasta in a separate bowl.
Ladle about a cup of the tomato sauce onto the bottom of the dish and spread evenly.
Cover with an even layer of pasta.
Spread 1/3 of the remaining tomato sauce over the pasta.
Dollop half of the cheese mixture and 1/3 of the mozarella on top of that layer.
Repeat the layers.
Bake for 30 minutes.
Remove from oven and allow it to cool for a few minutes before serving.