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Baked Ziti with Italian Sausage

Prep time 30 mins
Cook time 35 mins
Yield

4 to 6

See how Johnsonville® does comfort food! This delicious baked ziti dish is jammed with flavor and beautiful ingredients. Johnsonville® Italian Sausages, eggplant, plum tomatoes, olives, basil, onions and garlic combine to create a symphony of flavors!

Ingredients

  • 1 package (19 ounces) Johnsonville® Fresh Italian Sweet Sausage Links, casings removed
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 4 cups ziti pasta (approximately 12 ounces)
  • 1 small eggplant, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 can (28 ounces) crushed plum tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/3 cup pitted Kalamata olives, chopped
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

How to Make It

  1. In a 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium heat.  Add sausage, crumble and cook until no longer pink and lightly browned.  Drain and transfer into a large mixing bowl.  Meanwhile prepare ziti according to package directions.  Drain and rinse with cold water, cover and set aside.  Using the same skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat.  Add eggplant and cook until tender and lightly browned.  Transfer to bowl with sausage.  Using the same skillet, heat remaining oil over medium heat.  Add onion and garlic, sauté until tender.  Pour wine into skillet, increase heat to medium-high and continue to stir until most of the liquid has evaporated.  Add tomatoes and reduce heat to medium.  Simmer for 10 minutes.  To the bowl with the sausage mixture, add cooked pasta, basil, olives, 2 cups of mozzarella cheese, tomato sauce, salt and pepper.  Stir to combine ingredients.  Transfer mixture to a greased 3-quart baking dish.  Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.  Cover and bake at 400°F for 25-30 minutes.  Uncover and bake for 5 minutes longer, or until lightly browned.  Let stand 5 minutes before serving.