I'm all for a good pasta dish. A few months ago, I first tried out making baked ziti and it turned out fantastic. The great thing about it is such an easy thing to make, I didn't even follow a recipe, I was able to estimate everything on the first try and everything still turned out perfectly. The great thing about baked ziti is that you can make a huge batch of it and save it for another day, allowing for lots of quick meals that you can just pop into the microwave, which is great for lazy people. You can always cut the recipe in half in order to make the serving size more manageable. Although baked ziti might take some extra time on the first day, but saving it allows for cutting down a lot of future cook time. Plus, it's so tasty. Quick, easy, tasty. If that doesn't entice you then I don't know what will.


Baked Ziti Recipe

Serves 10-12
Prep time: 20-30 minutes
Cook time: 25-35 minutes

Ingredients

3/4 lb ziti pasta (can substitute with rigatoni or penne)
Olive oil
1 cup chopped sausage
1 cup diced bell pepper
4 cups of pasta sauce
15 oz ricotta cheese
1 1/2 cups Mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp chopped basil

Procedure

1)    Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 
2)    Cook ziti pasta, following the directions on the package, then drain. 
3)    Put a saucepan on medium heat. Grease with olive oil. 
4)    Fry chopped sausage and diced bell pepper for about 10 minutes. 
5)    Put cooked sausage and bell pepper into a bowl.
6)    Generously grease bottom of casserole dish(es) with olive oil.
7)    Pour about 1/2 of the pasta sauce into the casserole dish.
8)    Pour the cooked pasta into the dish.
9)    Put the chopped sausage and diced bell pepper into the dish. 
10)  Beat the ricotta until fluffy. Put into dish.
11)  Pour the rest of the sauce on top.
12)  Mix the pasta in the dish until the sauce, cheese, sausage, and bell pepper is evenly mixed. 
13)  Sprinkle the mozzarella and Parmesan on top of the pasta, covering the entire dish. 
14)  Sprinkle on the chopped basil. 
15)  Bake for 25-35 minutes, until the cheese is melted and slightly golden. 
16)  Remove from oven and let cool for about 5-10 minutes before indulging. Enjoy!

If you make this baked ziti, let me know how it turns out! Hope that you enjoy.

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