Pasta is made almost weekly in our home. I am always trying to mix up the ways that I serve it. Over the holiday break I made a lot of my baked ziti. It is a favorite of everyone but I was wanting to mix it up a little bit! I had bought some pesto for a spread on BLT’s for dinner and spinach for a romaine/spinach mix for my favorite Loaded Italian Salad. I try to use my weekly groceries as best as possible so I added the extra pesto and extra spinach that I had and created this little gem.
My 8 year old son’s best friend was over and decided to stay for dinner with us. I told him that I wasn’t sure if he would like it or not but he ate it right up! And so did all 4 of my children! One of my sons did have to pick out the spinach, but hey at least he ate everything else!
Sausage and Spinach Pesto Baked Ziti
10 ounces ziti
1 pound of ground sausage
1/2 cup onion, diced (I like to use frozen onions)
2 Tablespoons minced garlic
2 (14.5 ounce) cans of diced Italian tomatoes
1/4 cup pesto
3 handfuls of spinach (about 3 cups)
2 cups (8 ounces) of grated mozzarella cheese
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cook ziti pasta according to back of package. Rinse with cold water while you strain and then drizzle some olive oil and garlic salt on the noodles. While the ziti is cooking cook the sausage,onions and minced garlic. Cook through and then add the diced tomatoes. Simmer for 10 minutes and then sir in the pesto. Season with salt and pepper however much you would like. Grab a large bowl and add the cooked ziti. Top with the sauce mixture. Add the spinach and mozzarella cheese. Mix together well. Grab a 9×13 pan and lightly oil. Pour in the pasta mixture. Top with parmesan cheese. Cover with tin foil. Bake for 20 minutes covered when you remove sauce should be bubbling, then remove the tin foil and bake for 10 more minutes uncovered or until cheese is melted.