Lori's Blog

Photo Credit: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Jan Gautro

Baked Ziti with Turkey Sausage Recipe

Posted 4 years ago by Lori Scholle

It is a Tuesday night and everyone has had a busy day – the children went to school, mom and dad went to work and even though everyone’s school and work day is over there is still a 6:00pm soccer practice to go to.  Sound familiar?  Why soccer leagues schedule practices during the week at the dinner hour is beyond me but sometimes you do what you have to do -right?  On nights like this it would be so helpful to have a meal that was prepared earlier and could be heated and on the table in minutes!  This Baked Ziti and Turkey Sausage recipe is not only easy to prepare in advance it is delicious and kid friendly.  Try it the next time you know you are going to have a busy evening with little time to cook.  Paired with a quick vegetable you have a complete and satisfying meal that everyone will love!

Baked Ziti with Turkey Sausage

Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 1 1/2 cups)

Ingredients

  • 1  (1-pound) package uncooked ziti (short tube-shaped pasta)
  • 1 pound sweet turkey Italian sausage links
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2  garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2  (14.5-ounce) cans petite-diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  •   Cooking spray
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded fresh mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350°.

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain the pasta, and set aside.

Remove casings from sausage. Cook sausage, onion, and garlic in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until browned, stirring to crumble. Add the tomato paste, salt, pepper, and tomatoes, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Combine cooked pasta, sausage mixture, and basil. Place half of the pasta mixture in a 4-quart casserole coated with cooking spray. Top with half of mozzarella and half of Parmesan. Repeat layers. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until bubbly.

Tips and Short-Cuts

1. This recipe can be assembled as early as two days before and baked for 30 minutes at 350 degrees on the day you wish to eat it.  You could also prepare the entire recipe and then reheat individual portions in the microwave as needed.

2. Pasta tip: Cook pasta according to the package directions, drain and then add to the tomato mixture to cook for about 5 minutes.  The pasta absorbs the flavor of the sauce and the texture is better.

Recipe courtesy of Cooking Light.

Photo Credit: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Jan Gautro