Baked Ziti

We love pasta. Rob has never been an ounce overweight in his life (try not to hold it against him.) and he would prefer to have pasta twice a week and an entire loaf of cheesy garlic bread with every single meal. (Really. I'm not over dramatizing that.) Naturally I have struggled with my chubby middle since third grade so we usually have pasta once every two weeks and I keep bread in the freezer so I can pop in half a loaf for him a few times a week while I "pass" on the bread.

Anyway, this pasta I made for our neighbors. Poor Patty was having a rough week with three of her four kids home sick from school so I wanted to help her out and I sent this over to them. (Rob doesn't know that I made this cheesy creation and then passed it off!)

I rarely follow a recipe so I tried to write everything down as I did it, but if you need more seasoning, etc. ...adjust!

Baked Ziti

1 lb ziti or penne

1 lb Italian sausage (turkey or chicken sausage works great and your skinny husband won't be able to tell)

1/2 onion chopped

1/2 green pepper, chopped

5 garlic cloves, diced or pressed

2 tb tomato paste

1 can diced tomatoes with the juice (14-16 oz)

1 can tomato sauce (14-16 oz)

1 1/2 Tb Italian seasoning

2 tsp basil

2 tsp granulated garlic

1/2 tsp salt

2 tsp sugar

1/2 tsp crushed red peppers

2 cups mozzarella cheese

1/2 cup parmesan cheese

While you're preparing the sauce, boil the pasta as directed. Drain, set aside. In a large skillet brown the sausage with the onions and peppers. Drain fat add in garlic and cook a minute. Add tomato paste and cook for two minutes until it starts to brown. Add in all other ingredients EXCEPT cheeses. Simmer for 20 minutes, checking for seasoning. In a 9x13'' pan mix the pasta with the sauce, cover with cheeses and bake for 25 minutes at 350.

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