Baked Ziti with Sausage and Fresh Basil
(Prep Time: 20 minutes. Baking Time: 25minutes)
1 pound, ziti noodles
1 # bulk Italian Sausage
1 large onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons, flour
1 (5 ounce) can evaporated milk (a mini can)
3 (14.5 ounce) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
½ teaspoons salt
2 Tablespoons fresh basil, chopped or 1 Tablespoons dried basil
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Cook ziti according to package directions. Meanwhile, place Italian sausage into a large skillet on medium high heat. Using 2 spoons break sausage up into smaller pieces as it is browning. Add onions and garlic and continue to brown the sausage mixture until the crumbled sausage is fully cooked and brown. This may take 10-12 minutes. Add the flour and stir until completely mixed in. Add the evaporated milk, undrained tomatoes, and salt. Continue to cook over medium-low heat for several minutes. Stir in chopped basil and remove from heat. Add drained, cooked ziti to the tomato and sausage mixture, stir and transfer this mixture to a 12”x9”x3” casserole dish. Sprinkle with shredded cheese. You can either bake the casserole immediately at 350°F for 20 minutes covered with foil, and then 5 minutes uncovered. Or the casserole can be refrigerated and baked at a later time. A cold casserole should be baked at 350°F for 45 minutes, covered with foil, and then an additional 5 minutes uncovered or until bubbly and hot.
Cook’s Notes: You can also freeze this casserole without the cheese on top, then add the cheese when the casserole is thawed and ready to bake.
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