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Baked Ziti

Baked Ziti Recipe

Offer this simple and hearty baked Italian Ziti with spinach and tomatoes dish with a green salad, crusty garlic bread and a light red wine, like Beaujolais. This Italian dish also goes well served with an imported beer like Stella Artoris.

This Recipe is great for any pot luck party or family dinner. Double the recipe and you have enough baked ziti to feed an army! Feel free to substitute your favorite tube style pasta for the Ziti in this popular Italian meal.

Baked Italian Ziti Family Dinner

3/4 pound hot Italian sausages, casings removed
1 medium onion, chopped
3 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 28-ounce can diced peeled tomatoes
1/4 cup purchased pesto sauce

10 ounces ziti or penne pasta (about 3 cups), freshly cooked
8 cups ready-to-use spinach leaves (about 2/3 of 10-ounce package)
6 ounces mozzarella cheese, cubed
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese (about 3 ounces)

Heat a heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add sausage, onion and garlic and sauté until sausage is cooked through, breaking up meat with back of spoon, about 10 minutes. Add tomatoes with juices to pan. Simmer until sauce thickens slightly, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Stir in pesto. Season sauce with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Bring to simmer before continuing.)

Preheat oven to 375° F. Lightly oil 13 x 9-inch glass baking dish. Combine pasta, spinach, mozzarella and 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese in large bowl. Stir in hot tomato sauce. Transfer mixture to prepared baking dish. Sprinkle remaining 2/3 cup Parmesan cheese over. Bake until sauce bubbles and cheeses melt, about 30 minutes.


 
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