Monday, September 19, 2011

Neely's Baked Ziti

The picture doesn't do this meal justice.  It really is a great, different pasta dish.  It is loaded with flavor.  Thanks Shelby for the recipe!

Neely’s Baked Ziti

1 lb ziti (I use whole wheat penne)
1 lb hot Italian turkey sausage
1 medium onion
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes
6 oz pesto (I use 8 oz)
15 oz ricotta cheese
1 (9 oz) pkg washed spinach
2 cups shredded mozzarella, plus more for topping
1 ½ cups grated parmesan cheese, plus more for topping


Preheat oven to 375. Bring a large pot of water to boil over med/high heat. Add ziti and cook until al dente. Drain. In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté onion and garlic.  Add sausage and sauté until the sausage is browned. Add the can of diced tomatoes and pesto and let simmer for 10 minutes. In a large (really large!) bowl combine the ricotta cheese, spinach, parmesan and mozzarella.  Add the cooked pasta, then sausage mixture.  Toss until all the ingredients are combined.  Place in a 4quart baking dish.  Top with a sprinkling of mozzarella and parmesan. Bake until completely heated through and golden and crisp on top (about 20 minutes).

This makes a lot!  Tonight I steamed the spinach before I added it to the rest of the ingredients.  After I mixed everything together, I separated it into 2 smaller baking dishes.  I baked half of it for dinner and placed the other half in the freezer.  Cover it with plastic wrap and then tin foil to better preserve it in the freezer.    

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