The Best Easy Baked Ziti - This baked ziti recipe with ricotta and Italian sausage is so easy because there is no layering.
Course: Dinner, Main Dish
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: baked ziti recipe, easy baked ziti
Author: Amanda Finks
1lb.dry ziti pasta
1medium yellow onionchopped
1/4teaspoonground black pepper
2(24 oz.)jars pasta sauce
2cupsshredded mozzarella cheese
1/2cupgrated parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a high-sided 9 x 13 inch baking dish with cooking spray.
Cook the ziti pasta according to its package directions.
Place a large soup pot, or a large high-side skillet* over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil, and onion. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the Italian sausage to the skillet. Break the sausage apart with a wooden spoon. Cook for 10-11 minutes, until the sausage is browned, stirring occasionally. Drain off the excess fat if necessary.
Add the ricotta cheese, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper to the skillet. Stir until the ricotta is smooth.
Add the pasta sauce to the meat. Stir to combine. Bring the liquid to a simmer. Remove from the heat.
Once the pasta is cooked, drain the water from the cooked pasta and return the pasta to the hot pot. Add the meat sauce to the cooked pasta. Stir until the pasta is completely coated in sauce.
Transfer the pasta to the baking dish**. Spread it into an even layer. Sprinkle evenly with the mozzarella cheese and the parmesan cheese.
Bake for 30 minutes, until the cheese is melted.
*I use a 12 inch high-sided skillet for this.**If you don’t have a 9x13 inch baking dish with high sides, you may want to leave out a couple cups of the pasta mixture out so that it doesn’t bubble over in your oven.