A recipe for Baked ziti with marinara and Italian sausage. A Baked Ziti casserole recipe perfect for dinner. I’m having a hard time with the weather. It has been super nice here in LA. This means, t shirts, dresses, and shorts. I’m more of a over sized sweater, boots, and a scarf (at all times!) type of person. So switching gears is something that I don’t do well. I can’t get rid of my scarf. Its like my security blanket. I just can’t. This year though, I am going to try and wear normal person spring/summer shoes. Maybe more dresses instead of pants. The scarf situation, is one that I just can’t give up. I have decided that I am going to find light beach scarves, and wear those. It is the issue I have with warm weather clothes as I have with food. I don’t want to eat spa salads, sprouts, and other light stuff in spring and summer. I want my pasta and chowders. If you’re like me, and holding onto the last bit of winter, lets all eat some ziti together and wear scarves.
♥ Teri

Baked Ziti
Serves 6 to 8

12 ounces rigatoni pasta
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 spicy Italian sausages, casings removed
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 1/2 cups homemade or store bought marinara
1 cup part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/2 parmesan, grated
salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Add a small handful of salt and pasta to water and stir. Boil pasta for 7 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until pasta is al dente. Drain, toss with a teaspoon of oil, pour into a large mixing bowl and
3. Pour 1 tablespoon of olive oil into a large sauté pan and place over medium- high heat. Add sausage and break apart with a wooden spoon. Cook sausage for about 5 minutes or until evenly browned. Drain and add to pasta.
4. Discard grease and add remaining oil to pan. Add onion, bell peppers and garlic to pan and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Pour onion mixture over sausage and pasta mixture and toss together.
5. Add marinara, 1/2 cup mozzarella and 1/4 cup parmesan and gently fold together until fully incorporated. Adjust seasonings.
6. Pour mixture into a lightly greased 8”x 8” baking dish and top with remaining mozzarella and parmesan.
7. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the cheese bubbles and browns.
8. Allow ziti to cool for 5 to 7 minutes before serving.