Baked Ziti – classic Italian American comfort food of pasta baked with sausage, tomato sauce and all kinds of gooey, yummy cheeses. So EASY and so good!
Do you like lasagna, but not the fuss? Make baked ziti instead!
It’s a lot like a classic lasagna casserole, but easier to make and without lots of layers or broken noodles.
It makes for a perfect midweek or weekend meal, or a hot dish to bring to a potluck. Make extra and freeze for later.
This recipe is a pretty basic version, but everyone who makes baked ziti has their own unique tricks and twists to it. Some vary the cheeses, some the meat, some make meatless versions, and some people leave out the tomato sauce for a truly cheese-tastic casserole.
This version uses bulk Italian sausage, as well as a key fresh herb. In summer, that would be basil. In winter, rosemary. You could also easily use savory, sage, thyme or parsley.
Ziti is a pretty common pasta shape in most areas, but you can substitute penne pasta if you can’t find it. You want a substantial short pasta shape with places to hold the sauce and meat. You can assemble this ahead, and either refrigerate or freeze before you do the final baking.
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