Weeknight dinner perfection!

Oven-Baked Ziti with Ricotta & Sausage

Recipe Snapshot



Total Time

1 h 5 min




Preheat an oven, then coat a 9×13-inch baking dish with a little oil or nonstick spray. Bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil, then season generously with a few tablespoons of Kosher salt. Add dried ziti pasta, then cook according to package directions until al dente. 

Cook pasta to al dente


Heat olive oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. When hot, add Italian sausage, then use a spatula to break up into smaller pieces. Cook until browned. Add  onion, then cook.

Brown the sausage


Stir in fresh oregano leaves, grated garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, and fennel seeds, then cook. Add tomato paste, then use a spatula to stir it into the onion and sausage.

Saute aromatics


Pour in red wine to deglaze the pan, then use a spatula to scrape any browned bits off the bottom. Cook until reduced by half, then add can of crushed tomatoes.

Add the liquid


Stir in fresh baby spinach until wilted, then season with Kosher salt and black pepper. Pour in the drained ziti pasta, along with reserved pasta water. Stir well until the sauce evenly coats the pasta.

Add spinach


In a large bowl, mix together ricotta, grated Pecorino Romano, and lemon zest.

Make the ricotta mixture


Pour half of the ziti and sausage mixture into the prepared baking dish, then dollop with half of the ricotta cheese and half of the mozzarella cheese. 



Transfer to a preheated oven and bake until the cheese is bubbling. Adjust the oven temperature to broil, then carefully place the baked ziti on a rack. Broil. Allow the ziti to rest. Garnish with fresh basil or oregano leaves, then serve immediately!

Bake, then serve


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