One Pot Baked Ziti

I have to apologize. I’ve been out of town on business and I am COMPLETELY zonked. For some reason, I didn’t sleep while I was away and between flying, traffic and MORE SNOW, I’m pretty much spent. On the plus side, I got to met Grumpy Cat while I was away!

Best day ever?!

In any case, I didn’t get a chance to do ANY baking this weekend, so I thought I’d post about a meal I made a couple of weeks ago that was absolutely to DIE for.

Now, this Baked Ziti isn’t really “Baked” in a traditional sense, but the pasta does kind of bake in the pot with everything else – yes, the pasta is cooked IN the pot! No boiling water required! This dish is also mostly “Clean” which is a HUGE bonus to me!

One Pot Baked Ziti
adapted from Damn Delicious 
Ingredients:
1 tbsp olive oil
1 lb Italian Sausage, removed from casings
4 cloves garlic, minced
4-5 tbsp Sriracha (optional)
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 can of crushed tomatoes
About 3 cups of whole wheat Ziti pasta (I use Fusilli because I couldn’t find the Ziti pasta)
3 cups water
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese 
1 cup marbled cheese, shredded

Method:
In a large skillet (or in my case, electric frying pan) heat the olive oil at medium heat. Take your sausage meat (find tutorial on how to remove from casings, here) and cook until browned. Make sure you are breaking the meat up as you would ground beef for tacos. Once browned, stir in garlic and mix with meat for about 1 minute. Add salt and pepper (you won’t need TOO much).

Stir in the crushed tomatoes and bring to a simmer and allow to thicken slightly – takes about 8 minutes. Once thickened, stir in 3 cups of water and the pasta. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium low and allow to simmer in the pot for about 13-15 minutes with the lid on. Once the pasta is cooked through (it will be SLIGHTLY al dente) turn heat off and stir in the parmesan cheese. Sprinkle the Mozzarella on top and cover with a lid until the cheese is nice and mealty (about 2 minutes).

Serve right away!

This dish pairs REALLY nicely with a glass of red wine. MMMMM.

Enjoy!

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