Sunday, August 17, 2008

Baked Ziti with Sausage and Artichokes

It's fancy enough for company, yet simple enough to be a potluck favorite any night of the week.

1 pound uncooked ziti
1 pound mild Italian sausage, casings removed
2 cans (14 ounces each) quartered artichoke hearts, drained
1 jar (25 to 28 ounces) spaghetti sauce
1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes, undrained
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon pepper
4 cups (1 pound) shredded mozzarella cheese, divided

Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta according to the package directions; drain, rinse with cold water, drain again, and set aside in a large bowl. In a large skillet, sauté the sausage over medium-high heat for 5 to 6 minutes or until no pink remains, breaking it up as it cooks. Drain the liquid from the cooked sausage and add it to the ziti along with the artichoke hearts, spaghetti sauce, crushed tomatoes, garlic powder, pepper, and 3 cups of the mozzarella cheese; mix well. Pour into a 9" X 13" baking dish that has been coated with nonstick vegetable spray and sprinkle the remaining 1 cup of cheese over the top. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until heated through.

6 to 8 servings

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