Baked Ziti with Italian Sausage and 5 types of cheese is pure comfort food. The ziti, sausage slices and cheese are layered so that there's some of each in every bite. It's topped off with a thick layer of gooey, melted cheese.
Course Dinner, Main Dish
Keyword baked ziti, pasta
Prep Time 30minutes
Cook Time 27minutes
1poundItalian sausage links
1mediumyellow or sweet onion, diced
3/4teaspooncrushed red pepper flakes
1(28-ounce) cancrushed tomatoes
2(14-ounce) cansstewed tomatoes
salt and pepper
8ounces mascarpone cheese
1cupcottage cheese or ricotta cheese
8ouncessliced Provolone,cut into strips
1/2cupshredded Parmesan cheese
Cook Italian sausage in a lightly greased pan until browned on all sides. Remove to a cutting board and let cool. (Sausage does not need to be cooked through at this point. It will finish cooking in the sauce.)When sausage has cooled some, cut it into slices.
Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to a Dutch oven. Add onion and cook 5 to 7 minutes to soften. Add garlic and cook 1 more minute.
Add Italian seasoning, crushed red pepper flakes, crushed tomatoes, and stewed tomatoes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.Bring to a simmer and add Italian sausage slices. Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Cook ziti in salted water according to package directions. Drain.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Ladle about 1/4 of the sauce into the bottom of a greased 9x13-inch pan.
Evenly arrange 1/2 the ziti in the pan. Dollop half the mascarpone cheese and cottage cheese over the ziti. Add half the provolone cheese strips and half the mozzarella.
Top cheese with half the remaining sauce followed by the remaining ziti.
Dollop on the remaining mascarpone cheese and cottage cheese. Layer with the remaining sauce. Sprinkle with the rest of the mozzarella cheese, the provolone and the Parmesan. Cover with a piece of aluminum foil that has been sprayed with cooking spray so that the cheese doesn't stick.
Bake for 25 minutes. Remove foil and broil for a few minutes to brown the cheese.
If you don't have mascarpone cheese, you can use an extra cup of cottage cheese or ricotta cheese.