If you’re a fan of baked ziti or lasagna, but hate doing the dishes, well, then, this dish is for you. You can thank us later!
YIELD 6–8 servings
ZEST FACTOR Medium
PREP TIME 5 minutes
COOK TIME 30 minutes
1 pound hot Italian ground sausage
1 yellow onion, diced
1 (8-ounce) package sliced mushrooms
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 (24-ounce) jar spicy red pepper marinara
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes with garlic and olive oil, undrained
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1½ teaspoons sugar
1 bay leaf
8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 (16-ounce) box ziti
4 ounces cream cheese
Shaved parmesan for garnish (optional)
Chopped fresh parsley for garnish (optional)
1. In a large Dutch oven over medium-high, brown the sausage and onions, until the meat is cooked through, about 8–10 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes.
2. Add the marinara, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, balsamic vinegar, bay leaf and broth. Stir to combine and bring to a boil.
3. Once boiling, add the pasta, stir to combine, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the pasta is al dente, about 10 minutes, or per package instructions.
4. Discard the bay leaf and add the cream cheese. Stir until the cream cheese melts into the sauce, about 3–5 minutes.
5. Serve hot garnished with Parmesan, parsley and red pepper flakes, or simply dig in.