Copyright Thomas Saaristo  All Rights Reserved
Baked ziti
Offer this simple, hearty dish with a green salad, crusty garlic bread and a light red
wine, like Beaujolais


3/4 pound hot Italian sausages, casings removed
1 medium onion, diced
3 large garlic cloves, minced
28 ounces canned diced fire roasted tomatoes
1/4 cup Pesto
House salt
Black peppercorns in a pepper mill

10 ounces dried ziti or penne pasta, freshly boiled, drained
8 cups curly leaf fresh spinach, roughly chopped, stems removed and discarded
6 ounces mozzarella cheese, cubed
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Heat heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add sausage, onion and garlic and
saute until sausage is cooked through, breaking up meat with back of spoon, about
10 minutes. Add tomatoes with juices to pan. Simmer until sauce thickens slightly,
stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Stir in pesto. Season sauce with salt and

Sauce can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Bring to simmer before

Heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly oil 13 x 9 inch glass baking dish

Combine pasta, spinach, mozzarella and 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese in large bowl. Stir in
hot tomato sauce. Transfer mixture to prepared baking dish

Sprinkle remaining 2/3 cup Parmesan cheese evenly over the surface

Bake until sauce bubbles and cheeses melt, about 30 minutes

Serve Baked ziti hot, warm or at room temperature

Cook’s note: Substitute equal amount favorite fresh greens for the spinach