Italian sausage makes up the meat portion of this pasta bake that also includes zita pasta, ricotta cheese, oregano, basil and grated cheese.
I made the full recipe as is, but used low-fat cheese and whole wheat pasta. I do not believe this had any negative impact on taste. I opted to split it into (2) 8x8 pans as it really makes a large portion. One of which I baked & served that evening, and the other I assembled & then threw in my freezer for another night. In each pan, I had room for a layer of sauce, a layer of the pasta mixture, another layer of sauce, and topped it with cheese. But as a side note, I did not add cheese to the one I froze. When I was ready to finally bake the frozen pan, I let it thaw overnight in my fridge. I threw it in my preheated oven (375 F) and cooked for approx 45 min (wrapped in tin foil). I added the cheeses, and let it cook for another 15 minutes. Good taste, easy to make (and freeze for later!), and the sausage adds substance. Will make again. - 01 Nov 2008 (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)
I made this recipe to feed a hungry group during a ski weekend and it was amazing! Both the picky adults and the pickier children loved it. I increased the amount of sausage slightly and used italian style turkey sausage. I prepared the recipe up through step 5 and then put the tray in the fridge all day. When we got home that night, I increased the oven temp to 375 and cooked it covered for 45 minutes and uncovered for 15. It was perfect! - 14 Jan 2009 (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)
Very good basic recipe. I made modifications to suit my family's tastes. I used ground chuck vs sausage (family does not care for it) and sauteed the onion and garlic with it. Used a can of diced tomatoes to mix into the ricotta cheese, egg, etc. Because it can be a little bland, used allot more spices in the mixture, such as Italian Seasoning, parsley flakes, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, chili powder and cumin powder. Used 40 oz of Prego spaghetti sauce to keep it from drying out.I also used 16 oz of Italian shredded cheese (8 oz per layer). I sprayed the aluminum foil with Olive Oil Pam before covering (to keep the cheese from sticking) and baked it at 375 degrees for 45 minutes, then uncovered and baked an additional 20 minutes. I let it stand for another 15 minutes while my garlic bread was baking to let it set up. This was delicious!!! My son was over for dinner and wanted to take the leftovers home (a first!) but I wouldn't let him. Instead, I gave him this recipe (with my modifications, of course, lol). I've made other baked ziti recipes, but this was the best by far. - 15 Mar 2010 (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)