Of everything I make, this is requested the most often by far. It’s a crowd pleaser. Everytime my Mom throws a potluck, she suggests I bring it – and I’m happy to obligue because this is an easy dish to put together. I’m a big fan of sizing down dishes for just the two of us, but this is one I always make the full recipe of – there always seems to be someone happy to take some off our hands.
My Mom recently started a new job that’s keeping her extra busy so for her birthday I made her a few freezer meals that she could pull out on hectic days. This was one of them. I’m not sure who was more excited about it – her or my sister!
This can be as fancy or simple as you want. I’ve used both homemade sauce and garlic bread and store-bought and got fantastic results with both.
Baked Ziti with Sausage
(from Johnsonville Sausage)
1 1/2 lbs. Italian Sweet Sausage Links
8 oz. penne or rigatoni dry pasta, cooked according to package
1 jar (26 oz.) pasta sauce
3/4 c. water
1 T. fresh basil, chopped
1 T. fresh garlic, chopped
1/2 c. Parmesan cheese, freshly shredded
1/4 t. black pepper
12 slices of garlic bread
3 cups (12 oz.) mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 c. olive oil
12 fresh whole basil leaves
2 Roma tomatoes, sliced into 12 slices
Prepare sausage according to package directions and coin slice.