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Baked Ziti With Sausage And Cheesy Pockets
Baked Ziti With Sausage And Cheesy Pockets
Baked Ziti With Sausage And Cheesy Pockets

Baked Ziti With Sausage And Cheesy Pockets

difficulty: Easy

time: 85

Ingredients (6 Servings)

Pomì Organic Chopped Tomatoes More info

Pomì Organic Chopped Tomatoes 1 1/2 Boxes

Italian Food Forever

  • Dried chili flakes (optional) ½ teaspoon
  • Dried oregano 1 teaspoon
  • Finely chopped fresh parsley 3 tablespoons
  • Finely chopped onion ½ cup
  • Fresh chopped basil 2 tablespoons
  • Full fat ricotta cheese 1 (15 ounce) container
  • Garlic cloves 3 minced
  • Grated parmesan cheese ¾ cup
  • Heavy cream 1/3 cup
  • Italian sausage (spicy or mild) 1 pound, remove the casings
  • Olive oil 2 tablespoons
  • Salt & pepper To taste
  • Shredded mozzarella 1 cup
  • Ziti pasta 1 pound

Fall has arrived and the perfect ending on a brisk, cool day is a casserole dish of baked pasta with bubbly, creamy cheese pockets that the entire family will enjoy. This dish can be prepared ahead of time and then baked just before it is needed.

Preparation

Heat the olive oil in a medium sized pan over medium heat. Crumble the sausage into the pan, breaking the meat up with two forks as it cooks, until it is no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Add the onions and garlic and cook until the onions are translucent and the sausage meat is beginning to brown, about 5 minutes.

Use a large spoon to remove any excess fat from the sausages, then add the tomatoes, oregano, salt, pepper, parsley, basil and chili flakes. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes until thickened. Allow the sauce to cool to room temperature.

While the sauce is cooling, heat a large pot of lightly salted water to boil, and then cook the pasta 3 to 4 minutes less than the recommended cooking time. Drain pasta and rinse in cold water to stop the cooking process.

To assemble, mix the pasta with the tomato sauce and pour into an oven-proof casserole dish. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a small bowl, mix together the ricotta, mozzarella and cream until smooth. Use a spoon to create pockets in the pasta and spoon in some of the cheese mixture into each pocket. Continue to make 6 to 8 pockets using up the ricotta cheese mixture.

Sprinkle the grated parmesan cheese on top, then bake covered for 20 minutes. Remove the cover and continue to bake until bubbly and lightly browned, another 15 minutes or so. Cool 10 minutes and then serve.

Recipe by Deborah Mele of ItalianFoodForever.com

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