Does anything say comfort better than a bubbling hot pan of Baked Ziti with Sweet Italian sausage sizzling on top? Hmmm…I can’t think of anything right now. This is my Mom’s ziti. Mom’s recipes are the best where home-cooking is concerned. This is serious comfort food for a cold Sunday afternoon dinner snuggled up where it’s warm with your family gathered around. Since we’re talking ziti I have to mention the odd recipe I saw that called for sour cream in place of ricotta. I’m not sure how I feel about it. Ziti without ricotta wouldn’t be the same for me. Ziti is all about the cheese, oodles of stringy, ooey-gooey cheese! It’s not for the faint of heart or the cheese-conscious.
Ziti is really just another form of lasagna – the same ingredients are required – only the shape of the pasta is different – the flavors are there. You might question why this is called baked ziti when penne is used. Traditional ziti are long tubes that you break up before cooking, a rare find, as they are sold already broken up nowadays. Acceptable substitutes are penne, penne rigati, and mostaciolli. Penne rigate are the best because of their ridges. Cheese and sauce stick better to them.
This feeds a small crowd, but can easily be halved or frozen to enjoy at a later date. The leftovers rock!