Baked Ziti with Spinach and Tomatoes

Baked Ziti with Spinach and Tomatoes

I came across the Baked Ziti recipe via one of Minty’s Flickr photos last month. It was pretty tasty and would definitely be a good option if you need to feed a crowd. Below is the recipe, with my notes in brackets.

3/4 pound hot Italian sausages, casings removed [increased to 1 lb]
1 medium onion, chopped
3 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 28-ounce can diced peeled tomatoes [on top of this, added a 14-oz can of diced tomatoes]
1/4 cup purchased pesto sauce [used entire 7 ounce package]
[Added 1 13-ounce can of mushrooms, drained]

10 ounces ziti or penne pasta (about 3 cups), freshly cooked [increased to 1 lb]
8 cups ready-to-use spinach leaves (about 2/3 of 10-ounce package) [used 5 cups of fresh bagged baby spinach. Could have used 6 or 7 cups.]
6 ounces mozzarella cheese, cubed [used about 5 ounces of shredded mozzarella]
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese (about 3 ounces)

Heat heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add sausage, onion and garlic and sauté until sausage is cooked through, breaking up meat with back of spoon, about 10 minutes. [We cooked the onions and garlic by themselves, then removed them from the pan. Then we cooked the sausage. I was worried about the garlic burning if we left it in with the sausage.] Add tomatoes with juices to pan. [Added the onions and garlic back in at this point, and also added the can of mushrooms. Simmer until sauce thickens slightly, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Stir in pesto. Season sauce with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Bring to simmer before continuing.)

Preheat oven to 375° F. Lightly oil 13 x 9-inch glass baking dish. Combine pasta, spinach, mozzarella and 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese in large bowl. Stir in hot tomato sauce. Transfer mixture to prepared baking dish. Sprinkle remaining 2/3 cup Parmesan cheese over. Bake until sauce bubbles and cheeses melt, about 30 minutes. [While baking, I covered the dish with foil for the first 15 minutes to prevent it from drying out too much.]

Baked Ziti with Spinach and Tomatoes

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5 Comments on “Baked Ziti with Spinach and Tomatoes”

  1. Oiyi says:

    That would be perfect comfort food for today here. Rainy and cold. Yummy!

  2. Karen says:

    Yum. I wish my dinner in the oven was ready because that picture made me even more hungry! 🙂

  3. Heather says:

    I didn’t realize how much I missed reading your blog until I had the opportunity to spend the last 20 minutes catching up! This recipe looks delightful..and i love your knitting projects as of late! Take care! H

  4. Beth says:

    That looks incredible!!!