So simple and yet so delicious.
Baked Napolitano ziti (you can also use penne instead of ziti if you prefer) is a rich mixture of sauce, ziti, Italian sausage (try my fresh Italian sausage), and cheese. The Italians tend to cook the ziti, pour a simple tomato sauce on top, and eat it prior to main courses.
But the recipe I have created is primarily for a main course. Don’t forget a little Chianti or other red wine with it. It is also fairly easy to make especially if you have the sauce made ahead of time. I always use my Botticelli’s rich Italian tomato sauce.
Ingredients (6 servings):
* 1 1/4 pounds mild Italian sausage
* 3 cups of tomato sauce (Botticelli’s rich Italian tomato sauce)
* 1 pound ziti or penne noodles
* 1/2 pound fresh mozzarella cheese
* 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
* Salt and pepper to taste
Bake the sausage in an oven at 350 degrees F for about 30 to 40 minutes (until brown). Once it has cooked, cut each link in half along the length and then cut the halves up into about 1/4 to 1/2 inch pieces. Reserve.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Boil the pasta (use fresh if you can) in a few quarts of salted water for about 8 to 10 minutes (al dente). Pour into a colander to remove the water. Place the olive oil in the same pan you cooked the pasta. Add the pasta and stir. Add the tomato sauce and sausage along with the salt and pepper and mix well. Pour everything into a large baking dish and cut slices of mozzarella to cover the top. Bake in the oven for 40 minutes or until the mozzarella has begun to brown.