Gail's Deep-Dish Baked Ziti

What can we say, nothing is better than a good pasta dish!

Gail's Deep-Dish Baked Ziti
2 tablespoons Extra-virgin olive oil, plus additional for greasing
1 pound Fresh chicken sausage, casing removed
1 Large yellow onion, diced
5 cloves Garlic, minced
1/4 cup Fresh leaves
1/4 cup Fresh oregano leaves
1 tablespoon Red chili flakes
2 (28-ounce) cans Crushed tomatoes
1 cup Water
1 pound Ziti noodles
1 (5-ounce) container Whole milk ricotta cheese
1 pound Mozzarella cheese, grated
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated, plus addition to garnish
1 Large egg
2 tablespoons Chopped parsley, plus additional to garnish
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat and add olive oil.

Add the chicken sausage and cook, breaking into pieces using the back of a wooden spoon, until browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove to a plate and drain off any excess fat besides 2 tablespoons.

Add the onion and cook until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic, thyme, oregano and chili flake during the last minute of cooking and season with salt and pepper.

Add the tomatoes, water and season with salt. Return the sausage to the pan.

Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer, allow to simmer for 15 minutes. Then set aside and allow to cool for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400ºF.

Grease a 9x13-inch baking dish with olive oil. In a small bowl, combine the ricotta, ¾ of the mozzarella, parmesan, egg, and parsley and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Add the noodles (raw) to the meat sauce and toss to coat. Spread half of the noodle mixture into the baking dish and dollop with half of the ricotta mixture.

Repeat with the remaining half of the ingredients. Then sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella cheese.

Grease a piece of foil with olive oil and place over the baking dish. Bake for 1 hour until bubbling and the pasta is al dente.

Remove the foil and broil until the cheese on top is bubbling and golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes.

Allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with additional parmesan cheese and chopped parsley.

6-8

Lasagna is a wonderful family dish. With chicken sausage, red chili flakes, and three types of cheese, this dish is sure to make the Italian dream come alive right in your own home

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes