This is my husband's favorite casserole, and he requests it often. He loves the combination of zesty Italian sausage and three types of cheese.—Christina Ingalls, Manhattan, Kansas
- 3 cups uncooked ziti or other small tube pasta
- 1/2 pound Italian sausage links
- 1/4 cup butter, cubed
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1-1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon pepper, divided
- 2 cups 2% milk
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 2 cups (16 ounces) 4% cottage cheese
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
- 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
- Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain; place in a large bowl. In a small skillet, cook sausage over medium heat until no longer pink; drain and cut into 1/2-in. slices.
- In a large saucepan, melt butter. Stir in the flour, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper until smooth; gradually add milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat; stir in 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Pour over pasta; toss to coat.
- In a small bowl, combine the egg, cottage cheese, parsley, and remaining Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Spoon half of the pasta mixture into a greased 2-1/2-qt. baking dish. Top with cottage cheese mixture. Add sausage to the remaining pasta mixture; spoon over the top. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and paprika.
- Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until a thermometer reads 160°. Yield: 6 servings.
Originally published as Baked Ziti and Sausage in Casserole Cookbook 2001, p84
Full-Bodied White Wine
Enjoy this recipe with a full-bodied white wine such as Chardonnay or Viognier.
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