Baked Ziti with Spinach and Tomatoes

Baked Ziti with Spinach and Tomatoes


3/4 lb hot Italian sausages, casings removed

1 medium onion, chopped

3 large garlic cloves, chopped

One 28-ounce can diced peeled tomatoes

1/4 cup pesto sauce

10 ounces Penne pasta (about 3 cups), freshly cooked

8 cups ready-to-use spinach leaves (about 2/3 of 10-ounce package)

6 ounces mozzarella cheese, cubed

1 cup grated Parmigiano cheese (about 3 ounces)


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 pepper. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Bring to simmer before continuing.)

Preheat oven to 375° F.

Lightly oil 13 x 9-inch glass baking dish.

Combine pasta, spinach, mozzarella and 1/3 cup Parmigiano cheese in large bowl.

Stir in hot tomato sauce.

Transfer mixture to prepared baking dish.

Sprinkle remaining 2/3 cup Parmigiano cheese over.

Bake until sauce bubbles and cheeses melt, about 30 minutes. Serves 4-6.

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