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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

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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.

  1. Mary @ Bake Break Not Specified Not Specified

    I’m totally with you on the heavy winter foods: all. year. long. The scarfs aren’t an issue here in Montana – I can wear them all year and nobody bats an eye! Haha! There are plenty of cute, light, summery scarves – I have no doubt you’ll be fine.

    Thanks for the recipe!

  2. Amy Not Specified Not Specified

    Yum this looks fantastic. Right now my office is freezing, and it makes me want a heaping pile of this pasta!

    I’m a sweater girl too – I just get light sweaters to layer over dresses and flats for the warmer weather.


    mon amy

  3. Nicole {Sweet Peony} Not Specified Not Specified

    So pretty I might die. Gorgeous, cheesy, yummmm!

  4. Megan Not Specified Not Specified

    I want pasta always and ice cream always too. I totally get it. This looks so good, too! I’m hungry knowing it exists. :)

  5. Emily (New York, NY) Not Specified Not Specified

    Sooo cheesy – yummm!! When I was younger and eating my mothers home cooked meals every night (ohh I long for those days sometimes) ziti night was my faveee! And I so get you on that no light spring/summer food – I’m all about that! I like “real” food (haha).

  6. Amanda Not Specified Not Specified

    I feel the same way about having to ditch my scarf…I hate it! I kinda feel naked without it.

  7. ileana Not Specified Not Specified

    I live in Florida. But I love scarves! and I wish I had more opportunities to wear them.

  8. Heather (Heather's Dish) Not Specified Not Specified

    girl, just get a lighter summer scarf :) that’s what i’d do anyway…that and a big fat bowl of baked ziti!

  9. Shari @ The Daily Dish Not Specified Not Specified

    You just turned a messy casserole dish into something beautiful. Amazing.

  10. Blog is the New Black Not Specified Not Specified

    Such a classic!

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  12. Karen Not Specified Not Specified

    I recently moved to LA from San Francisco, and my scarves are atrophy-ing in my closet. :( Now I feel the need to bake some ziti and get them out! *sigh* I miss them…

  13. Ashley Not Specified Not Specified

    I adore that wooden spoon! Totally loving these photos, per usual…and all that cheesy goodness. :)

  14. shelly (cookies and cups) Not Specified Not Specified

    I have never seen Baked Ziti look so pretty!

  15. brookeO Not Specified Not Specified

    I love winter and can completely relate. This ziti looks like it makes the spring resistance totally worth it!

  16. Yadsia @ShopCookMake Not Specified Not Specified

    This looks soooooo good! Pasta and cheese, what else do we need to survive? lol

  17. Anna @ the shady pine Not Specified Not Specified

    This is a perfect omforting dish for the cooler weather…my family will love this ish so I am going to try it out.

  18. kale @ tastes good to me! Not Specified Not Specified

    Yes, I’m with you! Pasta and chowder all year!

  19. Brittany Not Specified Not Specified

    Yes, winter food all the time!! I’ve gotten used to everyone in the house groaning as I turn the oven on during a hot summer afternoon, and I don’t care! Warm, gooey, heavy food is just comforting, and I’m down for that any time of year. :)

  20. Kelly @ Studio DIY Not Specified Not Specified

    I live in LA too and I’m with ya on the boots, scarves and sweaters! Even if it’s going to be 75+ I feel like I need all three. Also with you on the food front, long live pasta!

  21. Sally @ Spontaneous Hausfrau Not Specified Not Specified

    Oh, I totally hear you on the scarf thing. I’ve run out of “scarf storage room” but I can’t seem to stop buying them. They’re just too much fun and too easy. Plus, a nice big scarf is perfect for hiding a bloated belly from eating too much baked ziti. Which, now that I have this recipe, is obviously what I plan on doing pretty soon.

  22. Sara Not Specified Not Specified

    Just made this tonight and my hubby and I both loved it! The spicy sausage was perfect and the cheesy baked pasta was super yummy! We’ve had this at restaurants but we both liked this version best. Thanks for sharing!

  23. Lea @ iCooklea Not Specified Not Specified

    Looks awesome – and I loooove your pictures

  24. Katja Not Specified Not Specified

    I’d never heard of this dish before, but the name made me giggle: it sounds almost the same as the Italian for ‘shut up’ (zitti). I wonder if that’s the origin of the name? It certainly looks like a dish that would keep you quiet for a wee while …

  25. Sara Grace Not Specified Not Specified

    The styling on this is fantastic! This recipe looks wonderful, too!

  26. Kettle Confections Not Specified Not Specified

    I’ve always wanted to try making ziti- thanks so much for posting this! Printing out the recipe as I type.

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  31. Margaret Lindsay Not Specified Not Specified

    recipe looks lovely but what is marinara?? please let me know as I would love to try this.

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  33. V puga Not Specified Not Specified

    Loved the ziti recipe. Thx. Where may I buy the great spoon?

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  35. Maria Not Specified Not Specified

    I made this today and added provolone and ricotta cheese! Super cheesy and super delicious! Thanks for great recipe!

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  37. Big Mike Not Specified Not Specified

    Everything looks great, but I ad seasoned Ricotta cheese.
    Ricotta cheese seasoned with Garlic powder, parsley, Basil, Oregano, grated Locatelli Pecorino Romano, and 1 egg. Salt and pepper to taste. Mix all together and add to ziti before baking. It is fantastic

  38. Donna Limpert Not Specified Not Specified

    When you say 12 oz. of pasta is that before or after you cook it ?? I made it today and my pan was HEAPING !!! I didn’t know if it was all going to fit ! I was wondering if I did something wrong! But it looks really yummy so we will see how mine tastes !!

  39. Kristen Not Specified Not Specified

    Made this for dinner tonight and it was a huge hit! :)

  40. Resep Masakan Indonesia Not Specified Not Specified

    It looks really great.
    I really want it!!!

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