Last week I decided I was going to try to make baked ziti my own way. Eric doesn't like ricotta cheese which is in most baked ziti recipes so I figured I would try to make it without. Plus, my parents gave me a really nice Le Creuset casserole dish that I had been looking for an excuse to use (Thanks again Mom & Dad!).
Chicken Sausage & Spinach Baked Ziti
1 pkg chicken sausage any flavor (I used roasted red pepper & spinach from Costco)
1 10 oz package frozen spinach, thawed & drained
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
1 box ziti
2 jars sauce (I used one marinara and one roasted red pepper)
2 cups mozzarella cheese
3/4 C grated parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Brown sausage, breaking into small pieces as you go. Remove from pan and set aside.
2. Bring water to a boil and cook ziti according to package instructions. Undercook by 3-4 minutes.
3. Brown garlic in remaining liquid from sausage. This only takes 30 seconds or so. Set aside with sausage.
4. Add spinach to skillet, season with salt and pepper and cook a few minutes or so until it crisps up a bit.
5. Add sausage and garlic back into skillet with the spinach and mix together.
6. Mix cooked noodles in with sausage/spinach mixture.
7. Add 1 1/2 C mozzarella and 1/2 C parmesan in and mix well.
8. Spread mixture into 9x11 baking dish and top with remaining cheeses.
9. Bake covered with foil for 20 minutes on 375 degrees. Then remove foil and cook for a few more minutes so the top gets slightly browned.