Baked Ziti

We had one of my best friends and her husband (who is also a pilot in Husband’s squadron) over for dinner last night.  I’ve been on medicine to help my neck and an occipital migraine for the last few days, so I needed something really easy to make, but that would still be super tasty.  I decided on baked ziti.  It’s a pasta dish with cheese, sauce, pasta, and sausage that’s really easy to put together, especially since I had my homemade spaghetti sauce in my freezer!  You can also make this vegetarian by leaving out the sausage.  I would probably substitute it with half a pound of pasta and another half cup of marinara sauce.

Recipe – Serves 6 to 8

12 oz. penne pasta

1 lb fresh mozzarella

1 c grated parmesan cheese

3 c marinara sauce

1 lb Italian sausage (I prefer hot)


  1. Pre-heat your oven to 350°.
  2. Cook your pasta according to the directions until it’s still very firm, but cooked.  Drain.
  3. Brown your sausage in a pan until it’s mostly cooked.  Drain the grease.
  4. Cube 1/2 lb of the mozzarella into 1/2″ pieces.  With the other 1/2 lb of mozzarella cheese, slice it in very thin slices (1/2″ or thinner).
  5. Combine the pasta, marinara sauce, sausage, cubed mozzarella, and 3/4 c parmesan cheese in a bowl, and mix until combined.
  6. Pour the mixture into a greased 9″ x 13″ pan.
  7. Cover the top with the sliced mozzarella and then sprinkle the rest of the parmesan cheese on top of the mozzarella.
  8. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes, until warmed through and lightly browned and bubbly on top.

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