04 Monday Nov 2013
As most of you know, I’m preparing for the arrival of my second child, a baby boy. I’ve decided to give myself a bit of a break and lean on some fellow bloggers to help me out around here. It’s a win-win for you all though! If you haven’t already checked out these bloggers, you can do so now and see what wonderful things they make. The first is Sarah from A Taste of Home Cooking. I asked Sarah if she would do a guest post because I love her approach in the kitchen as it’s similar to mine! She makes a great family meal, includes her daughter in the cooking duties, and tries to find the quickest way to put a meal on the table without sacrificing flavor. She delivered when she sent me this recipe! I’ve always wanted to try a skillet ziti but for some reason hadn’t. When she sent this recipe to me and I saw that I had all of the ingredients I was giddy with excitement to make this! It’s also my husband favorite meal, the fact that it is also made in his favorite cooking tool, a skillet, pretty much guarantees that this will become “his” dish to make! I hope you all enjoy it as much as I do and go check out A Taste of Home Cooking!
Maeghan’s baby boy is due in a few weeks and when she asked me to do a guest post I was thrilled. Maeghan and I met through our cooking board and I really enjoy reading her blog.
Like most people, I love easy weeknight meals. I’m especially fond of pasta dishes that cook in one pot. Boiling the pasta in a flavorful sauce infuses each piece and the starch from the pasta helps bring the sauce together. It’s a win-win all around. I couldn’t wait to try this Skillet Baked Ziti with Sausage because I knew it would be a huge hit with my family.
This makes a ton of food, which is good because we couldn’t stop eating it. This was the first recipe I’ve made using the basil cubes I froze over the summer (I processed basil leaves and a smidge of oil in my food processor, then froze it in an ice cube tray). It was perfect and I wish my basil plant had produced more so I had more basil to use this way.
I can’t see making any other baked ziti again now that I have this skillet version in my arsenal.
Skillet Baked Ziti with Sausage
As seen on Our Best Bites, from ATK’s Best Skillet Recipes
1 pound Italian sausage (hot or sweet)
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
6 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed (about 2 tablespoons)
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes, with juice
3 cups water
12 ounces (about 3 3/4 cups) ziti
1/2 cup half and half
1 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated (1/2 cup)
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
ground black pepper
4 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded (1 cup)
Heat the oven to 475 degrees.
Heat 12-inch or larger oven-safe skillet to medium high heat. Remove the sausage from its casings and crumble into the pan. Cook until it’s browned and cooked through, about 3-5 minutes. Add the oil, garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant. Stir in the tomatoes and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.
Add the water and the pasta. Cover, increase the heat to medium-high, and cook, stirring often, until the pasta is tender, 15 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cream, Parmesan, and basil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle the mozzarella evenly over the top. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake until the cheese has melted and browned, 10-15 minutes. Let rest for a few minutes, then serve.