Within the past few years, my mom insisted that I try her signature ziti sauce that is full of Italian sausage, pepperoni, and a ton of delicious flavor! Of course, I loved it and haven't gone back to jarred sauce since. :)
However, if you have kids that are as I picky as I was, (or a husband who won't eat sausage!) then you can bake this dinner and substitute a jarred sauce for one of the dishes.
I also love that I can make the sauce and freeze individual portions for a quick meal on a busy night!
Time (if using pre-made sauce): 25 minutes
Yield: 12 cups of sauce (makes 12 individual dishes of Baked Ziti)
- 1 pound bulk hot Italian sausage
- 6 ounces pepperoni (bagged or stick of pepp.), sliced thin and quartered
- 3 onions, chopped
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 (28 oz.) cans Italian style whole tomatoes, including juice
- 3 (6 oz.) cans tomato paste
- 1 Tablespoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- In a large pot (8 qt. or larger), start to brown the sausage and pepperoni, breaking up sausage as it cooks. When it is about halfway done, add the onions and garlic**. Continue cooking until the sausage is browned. Drain the fat from the pan.
- Squeeze the tomatoes over the pot and add, along with the tomato juice. Add the remaining sauce ingredients and simmer on low for 45 minutes, covered.
**If you prefer to not have chunks of garlic, onions, or tomatoes in your sauce, you can pulverize in a food processor before adding.
Baked Ziti Ingredients (for each individual serving):
- 1 cup Baked Ziti Sauce (above)
- 4 ounces cooked ziti noodles (according to package directions)
- 3-4 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Place noodles in an oven-proof baking dish. Pour sauce over the top and stir to cover all of the noodles**. Cover with cheese, all the way to the edges.
- Bake 10 minutes or until cheese browns to your liking. Place baking dish on a plate and serve with garlic toast! Enjoy!
**If sauce is frozen, defrost in microwave and/or heat in a small sauce pan.
Source: Lynnie's Homemade!