RECIPE: Baked Ziti with Local Sausage

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Sweet and spicy Italian sausages from Morning Glory Farm in Edgartown are the perfect choice for this Baked Ziti with Sausage from Jenn Segal’s popular food blog, Once Upon a Chef. “It’s loaded with Italian sausage, which packs a ton of flavor,” Segal says. “It’s similar to meat lasagna, but without the fuss. It’s easy enough for a weeknight but also special enough for company.” 

For more local sausage recipes, try this Lentil Soup.

Baked Ziti with Morning Glory Sausage

Serves 8-10

By Jennifer Segal

This bubbling baked ziti is perfect for feeding a crowd, and it freezes well too.It comes from the Once Upon a Chef, one of our favorite blogs created by former chef Jenn Segal. We used a mix of Morning Glory Farm sweet and spicy sausages, found in the freezer section.

Ingredients

1 lb ziti noodles

1.5 lbs ground spicy or sweet Italian sausage (or removed from casings)

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 (28-oz) can crushed tomatoes

1 teaspoon salt

1-1/2 teaspoons sugar

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 cup heavy cream

1/3 cup plus 3 tablespoons grated pecorino Romano (or Parmigiano Reggiano) cheese, divided

1/3 cup chopped fresh basil, plus more for serving

8 oz whole milk mozzarella cheese, shredded (about 2 cups)

Directions

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the ziti according to the package directions for very al dente, about 7 minutes. (It will continue to cook in the oven so you want to undercook it just a bit.) Drain and add the pasta back to the pot. Set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 425°F and set the oven rack in the middle position. 
  3. Heat a large sauté pan (preferably nonstick) over medium-high heat. Crumble the sausage into the pan and cook, breaking apart with a wooden spoon, until lightly browned and just cooked through, 5 to 6 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cooked sausage to a plate. Drain all but 1 tablespoon of the fat from the pan and set over low heat (if you don’t have enough fat in the pan, add a tablespoon of olive oil). Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until soft but not browned, about 1 minute. Add the crushed tomatoes, salt, sugar and red pepper flakes and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. 
  4. Add the cream, 1/3 cup of the pecorino Romano, cooked sausage, and basil to the pan; stir until evenly combined. Carefully pour the contents of the sauté pan into the large pot with the pasta and gently stir to combine. Spoon half of the mixture into a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Sprinkle with half of the shredded mozzarella and half the remaining pecorino Romano. Spoon the remaining pasta mixture on top and sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella and pecorino Romano. Transfer to the oven and bake, uncovered, until the cheese has melted and browned, 15 to 20 minutes. Sprinkle with more basil and serve

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