Baked Ziti Recipe

1 lb ziti, penne, mosticoli, or other tubular pasta
1 lb Italian sausage (I prefer sweet)
1/2 onion, diced
2 or 3 cloves garlic, finely diced
1-28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1-14 oz can diced tomatoes (do not drain)
1 tbsp basil
1 tbsp Italian seasoning
12 oz to 1 lb coursely grated mozzarella cheese (I prefer whole milk but part skim is fine)
olive oil (optional, but just barely)

Cook pasta until barely al dente. Drain and rinse well. Toss with olive oil, place in cassarole dish. (I prefer a 13" x 9" dish)

Remove casing from sausage. Brown sausage, onions, and garlic in 1 tbsp olive oil. (use no oil if you don't use olive) Chop sausage into small pieces while browning, brown until onion is translucent. Stir occasionally, do not scorch garlic.

Add tomatoes, basil, Italian seasoning, 1 tbsp olive oil. Cover, reduce heat to slow simmer, simmer for 15 minutes.

Add sauce to pasta, incorporate well. Cover with cheese. Bake uncovered in 325F oven until cheese is melted. Let sit for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Recipe written by fstroupe