Baked ziti has always been my favorite comfort food since I was young & one of my go-tos at Italian restaurants. I only felt it was right to throw together my own "quick" under $30 recipe for my boyfriend that was also high in protein. You know men and their proteinnnnnn. Below you'll find all the ingredients and steps you'll need for the tastiest baked ziti ever!
1 pound of ziti pasta
One 24 oz jar of Rao's Tomato Basil Sauce (or your favorite tomato sauce brand)
1/2 cup water (add it straight to the jar to get the rest of the sauce in the pan)
One 15 oz container of ricotta cheese
7 garlic cloves, minced
One 8 oz package of shredded mozzarella cheese
1/3 cup of fresh basil (feel free to add more if you love the aroma of basil!)
16 oz of sweet or hot sausage (remove casings or use ground sausage)
Extra virgin olive oil
Step 1: Prepare the Sauce
Sauté garlic in olive oil in a saucepan until aromatic.
Add the tomato sauce and 1/4 of the jar with water then add to the pot.
Simmer the sauce on low heat until needed.
Step 2: Cook the Sausage
In a separate pan, heat some olive oil.
Remove the sausage from the casings or use ground sausage.
Cook it fully and add it to the tomato sauce when done.
Step 3: Cook the Pasta
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
Add the ziti pasta and cook until al dente.
Drain the water and add the entire container of ricotta cheese to the bowl.
Add about 3/4 of the sauce & sausage to the pasta and mix.
Add fresh basil and mix.
Step 4: Preheat and Bake
Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
Place half of the remaining sauce at the bottom of a glass baking dish or half-deep dish pan.
Add the pasta, the rest of the sauce, and the entire bag of mozzarella cheese on top.
Once the oven is preheated, bake the pasta for 30 minutes or until the cheese is crisp and bubbling.
For a step-by-step visual guide, check out our video tutorial below: Baked Ziti with Crumbled Sausage Recipe
If you enjoyed this recipe, don't forget to follow us on TikTok @rosabrinas_cucina for more creations or explore our website for other comforting recipes to add to your collection.