My Recipe Box

Baked Ziti with Tomato, Mozzarella & Sausage


Serves four.

Try to find freshly made ricotta and mozzarella to see how good this rustic dish can be.

  • Olive oil
  • 1 large onion, cut in small dice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 lb. sweet Italian pork sausage, removed from its casing and crumbled
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup dry red wine
  • 35-oz. can whole plum tomatoes, chopped, with their juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh marjoram or oregano (from about 6 large sprigs)
  • 1 cup fresh ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup freshly grated mild pecorino cheese
  • Pinch nutmeg, preferably freshly grated
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 lb. dried ziti
  • 1/2 lb. mozzarella, preferably fresh, cut in small cubes

Heat the oven to 425°F. Lightly oil a large, shallow baking dish. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

In a large skillet, heat about 2 Tbs. olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and crumbled sausage and sauté until the sausage starts to brown. Season with salt and pepper. If the sausage gives off a lot of fat, pour off most of it, but leave a little to add flavor to the sauce. Add the red wine and let it boil until it's almost gone. Add the tomatoes with all of their juices and cook, uncovered, at a lively simmer for about 10 minutes. The sauce will thicken slightly. Add the marjoram or oregano and taste for seasoning.

In a large bowl, mix the ricotta, about half of the grated pecorino, the nutmeg, and the parsley. Season with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, cook the ziti until al dente. Drain well and toss it with the ricotta mixture until well coated. Add the sausage and sauce and mix again. Add the mozzarella and toss gently. Pour everything into the baking dish and sprinkle the remaining pecorino on top. Bake uncovered until lightly browned and bubbling, about 20 minutes. Serve right away.

nutrition information (per serving):
Size : based on four servings, Calories (kcal): 1070, Fat (kcal): 44, Fat Calories (g): 390, Saturated Fat (g): 20, Protein (g): 54, Monounsaturated Fat (g): 17, Carbohydrates (mg): 113, Polyunsaturated Fat (mg): 5, Sodium (g): 114, Cholesterol (g): 110, Fiber (g): 8,

Photo: Scott Phillips

This is my go-to recipe for comfort food. I have been making it for years. It's easy and so tasty. To the sauce, I now add bulgur (1/3c) and a bunch of kale chopped up. I usually use extra lean ground beef instead of sausage. I also use whole wheat penne, and low fat ricotta. I usually add extra chili flakes because we like the spice. I haven't tried making it with soy based 'ground beef' but, I bet it would still be great.

Easy and really good!

The family loves this one.

I have been wanting to make this for some time, and finally did last night. It is wonderful! The only modifications were: 1. used 1 lb of sausage, since that is what was in the package; 2. used a full tub of Ricotta, since I didn't want to waste the small amount left; and 3. used one 28 oz and one 14.5 oz can of tomatoes, since our store does not stock 35 oz cans.

Excellent flavor, especially with the addition of some crushed red pepper. If using all fresh herbs (as I did), the prep time was much longer than the meal was worth. This recipe could feed 8 people easily.

I have been making this recipe for a number of years. It tastes even better the second day and makes a great gift. Everyone loves the combination of flavors in this tried and true gem.

Used hot Italian sausage. Yum!

This is a basic baked Ziti- However I must let you know that I am from Naples, Itlay and we would NEVER put both garlic and onion in our tomato sauce. We would only use garlic OR onion in the sauce, which is why I gave this recipe only 4 stars

This is a great dish. Simple to make. but great results. I used crushed tomatoes instead of whole. Also used hot sausage. This recipie makes an ample amount. Great dish to share with neighbors. Perfect with garlic bread and a green salad.

Made this for dear friends (who happen to be fantastic cooks!) and it was a huge hit. It was super easy and is one dish I will definitely keep on hand.

My husband has a family ziti recipe, so this recipe seemed so foriegn, but WOW! I added spicey sausage, and fed it to a group of 20+ who all LOVED it, and so did I, and unbelievably, so did my husband!.

Delicious! I substituted 1 cup of Italian Five Cheese (a Kraft product) for the mild pecorino cheese. As others have said, switch out the sweet Italian sausage with a hot Italian sausage if your taste is for hotter, spicier foods.

This recipe is a favorite in our house! We just had it last night, as a matter of fact. But I use 1-1/2 lbs. of sausage and 1/2 c. of red wine to increase the amazing flavor. Absolutely delicious!!!

I use turkey sausage and a low fat ricotta to reduce the calories and it works out great. The best thing is that I can make it a day before and it reheats perfectly.

Excellent. Feeds a crowd (about 10 portions), so I will consider splitting it in half next time. I used hot italian sausage and that added a little extra zing to it. Also, I only used 28 oz of tomatoes as that was the size of the can and it was fine. Overall a great dish for a cold night. Can be made ahead and then put it the oven. Perfect with a nice salad and some garlic bread.

We loved this. Used mild sausages but based on other reviews added some hot pepper flakes. Used the fresh mozzarella which melted beautifully. Makes 4 very generous servings--probably would serve 6 easily. A tossed green salad as the side was all that was needed.

This is a very yummy dish. I'm generous with the sausage and my family prefers the hot variety. Scrumptious with a caesar salad, garlic bread and robust red wine. Perfect for a cold winter night.

Rather bland. Next time I would use hot italian sausage instead.

Great dish! Actually made with turkey sauage and tasted really great. Will make this one again!

This recipe has people coming back for thirds!

Incredibly delicious and easy to make.

Absolutely love it. Made numerous times for family and (extended family-double batch!) hit this with a great apertiff and a nice grilled garlic bread and a dark red wine. Very nice.

my family loves this recipe. The only difference is I usually use crushed tomatoes and add touch of sugar (about 1 tbspoon).

This is an excellent recipe....easy to make and great for a crowd! Would be excellent with a green salad and gelato for dessert. Everyone loved it....including the kids.

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