Extra Cheesy Baked Ziti

This dish is perfect to serve alone or with a side salad. Pair with a brown ale beer like new castle or pinot noir…. 

1 (16oz) box of Ziti (you can substitute for Rotini or Penne)
1 Lb. of Italian Sausage - no castings (you can choose if you want it regular, mild or spicy) 
Olive oil
6 garlic cloves minced
1 onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon rosemary
1 ½ cup of fresh chopped spinach
3 cups of your favorite spaghetti sauce
1 cup of sour cream
7 oz. shredded Monterey jack cheese
6 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
½ cup of fresh grated parmesan
½ cup of fresh basil or Italian parsley to garnish


In a large pot bring water to boil, add the package of pasta and cook al dente (go about a minute less than package time since pasta will continue to cook in the oven) Drain but do not rinse. I choose to add a splash of olive oil so pasta will not stick 

In a large sauce pan at medium heat you will start cooking the Italian sausage for about 2-3 minutes, make sure to break it apart. Add the garlic and onions and continue cooking for another 3 minutes or until soft. Stir in spaghetti sauce and spinach and simmer. Remove from heat. 

Preheat oven to 350F. In a 3 quart baking dish, spread a thin layer of sauce on the entire bottom part of dish. Arrange half of the pasta over the sauce. Then spread half of the mozzarella and half of the Monterey jack cheese over the pasta. Make sure to get into the corners. Repeat the process; add another layer of sauce, the rest of the pasta, and both Monterey jack cheese and mozzarella. Sprinkle half of the parmesan at the end. Bake for about 30-40 minutes. 

Remove from the oven, garnish with parsley or basil and top with more parmesan. 


(This recipe serves 4-6 people)