Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Baked Sausage and Meatball Ziti

When we go to Italian restaurants, we typically overspend for a dish that is slightly off from what we would really like to eat. That is the inspiration for my baked sausage and meatball ziti. It may sound difficult, but it takes about the same amount of time it would take to get my order in just about any restaurant.

Prepare ziti or your favorite past as you normally would to eat.

Start the sauce by cooking half an onion, three cloves shredded fresh garlic, sliced mushroom (if you like them) and sliced sausage of your choice. Once everything in the pain is starting to brown, add your favorite sauce. Simmer and add salt, pepper, Italian seasonings and the cooked pasta, setting aside once all mixed.

For the mini-meatballs, you will want to put one pound of ground beed, sausage or turkey in a bowl. Add finely chopped garlic, onions and mushrooms to the meat. You will want to add salt, pepper, a cup of bread crumbs, one egg and 1/8 cup of milk. Mix together and roll into small, nickle sized meatballs. Cook and brown the meatballs in a skillet until they are cooked through. If the pieces of mushroom are large enough, they will get crunchy when the meatball starts to brown.

Add the meatballs and two cups of shredded mozerella cheese to the pasta and sauce mix. Put in an oven safe dish and add more cheese to the top of the pasta. Bake at 375 until the cheese on top is hot and bubbling.

Leftover factor:  The entire dish can be fixed and baked the next day. This dish also freezes for a quick meal later on. If freezing, let defrost naturally.

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