Baked Ziti with Italian Sausage
Servings: 4 to 6 | Prep Time: 30 minutes | Cook Time: 35 minutes
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
4 cups ziti pasta (approximately 12 ounces)
1 medium onion, chopped
½ cup red wine
¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
2 ½ cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
½ cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
1 package (19 ounce) JOHNSONVILLE® Sweet Italian Sausage Links, casing removed
1 small eggplant, cut into ½ inch cubes
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (28 ounces) crushed plum tomatoes
1/3 cup Kalamata olives, chopped
season to taste with salt and pepper
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 brown. Drain and transfer into a large mixing bowl.
2) Meanwhile prepare ziti according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water, cover and set aside.
3) 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.
4) 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.
5) 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.
6) Cover and bake at 400ºF for 25-30 minutes. Uncover and bake for 5 minutes longer, or until lightly brown. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.