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Baked Ziti with Italian Sausage

 Baked Ziti with Italian Sausage
To streamline preparation, the same oven proof fry pan can be used for sautéing the vegetables and sausages on the stove top and then baking the pasta dish in the oven. Brought to you by Johnsonville® Sausage
4-6 ServingsPrep: 30 min. Bake: 25 min

Ingredients

  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 pkg (19 oz.) Johnsonville® Sweet Italian Sausage, casings removed, (can use mild or hot sausage)
  • 1 small eggplant, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 can (28 oz.) crushed plum tomatoes
  • 4 cups Ziti, cooked al dente
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/3 cup chopped kalamata olives
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Kosher Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese

Directions

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta until al
  • dente. Drain and rinse in cold water, cover and set aside.
  • Position a rack in the upper third of an oven and preheat to
  • 400°.
  • In a 12” nonstick fry pan. Heat 1 Tbsp. oil over medium heat. Add
  • decased sausage and cook, crumbling with a wooden spoon, until no

2 of 2

Baked Ziti with Italian Sausage (continued)

Directions (continued)

  • longer pink and cooked through about 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat
  • and transfer to a large bowl.
  • Using the same pan, heat 4 teaspoons of the olive oil. Add the
  • eggplant and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and the edges
  • are starting to brown, about 6-8 minutes. Remove from heat and
  • transfer to the bowl with the sausage.
  • Set the same pan over medium heat and warm the remaining 2 tsp. olive
  • oil. Add the onion and cook until softened. Add the garlic and cook
  • for 1 minute. Add the wine, increase the heat to medium-high and
  • bring to a boil, stirring to scrape up any brown bits. Cook until
  • the liquid is almost evaporated, about 3 minutes. Add the can of
  • crushed tomatoes and simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes.
  • In the bowl with the eggplant and sausage, add the cooked pasta,
  • basil, olives, 2 cups of the mozzarella and the tomato sauce and mix
  • to combine; season with salt and pepper.
  • Transfer this mixture to a 9X13” lightly oiled baking dish (or the
  • oven proof 12 inch fry pan). Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of
  • mozzarella and the parmesan cheese on top. Cover with aluminum foil
  • and bake for 25 minutes. Uncover and broil for 2-4 minutes, keeping
  • a close eye, until the cheese is lightly golden. Yield: Serves 4-6.
Wine: Full-Bodied Red Wine: Enjoy this recipe with a full-bodied red wine such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot or Syrah.