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Baked Ziti and Sausage

This is my husband's favorite casserole, and he requests it often. He loves the combination of zesty Italian meat and three types of cheese, which together create a scrumptious baked ziti with sausage.—Christina Ingalls, Manhattan, Kansas
  • Total Time
    Prep: 25 min. Bake: 30 min.
  • Makes
    6 servings

Ingredients

  • 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 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups 4% cottage cheese
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
  • 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • Paprika

Directions

  • 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°.

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