Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Skillet-Baked Ziti

Ingredients for 4-6 servings

¼ cup chopped fresh basil
¼ tsp red pepper flakes (or more or less to your taste)
½ cup heavy cream
¾ cup Parmesan cheese
1 lb sweet or hot Italian sausage, casings removed
1 (28-oz) can crushed tomatoes
3 cups water
4 oz (about 1 cup) freshly grated mozzarella cheese
6 cloves garlic, minced
12 oz ziti
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

 Heat the oven to 475 degrees Fahrenheit. 

In a 12-inch oven-safe skillet set over medium-high heat, brown the sausage until no longer pink, about 4 minutes, breaking up any large pieces with a wooden spoon.  Stir in the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.  Stir in the crushed tomatoes and ½ teaspoon of salt.  Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer gently for 8 to 10 minutes.

Add the water and ziti and stir to combine.  Cover, increase the heat to medium, and cook at a vigorous simmer, stirring often, 15 to 18 minutes, until the pasta is just tender.

Remove from heat and stir in the cream, ½ cup of the Parmesan, and 3 tablespoons of the basil.  Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.  Sprinkle the mozzarella and remaining ¼ cup of parmesan over the top, and transfer to the oven.  Bake until the cheese has melted and browned, and the sauce is bubbling, 10 to 15 minutes.  Sprinkle with the remaining tablespoon of basil and serve.

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