Good morning lovelies!
I had a package of ground Italian Sausage in the freezer, but was out of spaghetti noodles so I sort of improvised and made my own “spaghetti”. I used Ridged ziti noodles, sort of like a rigatoni noodle, in place of the spaghetti noodles. There’s just something so inviting and unconventional about having big, wide noodles instead of long skinny ones occasionally. Normally I make my spaghetti sauces with ground beef, but we actually really liked the texture of the sausage, it’s a bit chunkier where as the ground beef is more of a smooth consistency. Also the ground sausage was already seasoned so that helped add some depth of flavor too. I served this with a cucumber tomato salad and some garlic bread that I just popped in the oven for a few minutes. Hope you enjoy!
* 1 package ground Italian sausage, I bought the mild flavor, but they also have a sweet and a spicy version too
* 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes (usually with the tomato products)
* 1 24 oz can traditional tomato sauce
* oregano, garlic, and onion powders, seasoned to taste
* 1 box ridged ziti pasta or really any pasta you have on hand is fine
* grated parmesan cheese for sprinkling on at the end
Drizzle some olive oil in a skillet and heat up your pan on medium heat. Add the ground sausage and break up to ensure even cooking. Once your sausage is browned and no longer pink, drain off the excess fat. Return your browned sausage to your pan and add the crushed tomatoes and the tomato sauce. Stir together and add the oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, and even some black pepper if you would like. Turn down the heat to low and simmer uncovered for about 30 min, stirring a few times. The longer the better, but thus amount of time was fine.
Once you have your sauce simmering away, get a medium pan and fill it halfway with water and a few good dashes of salt. The salt just adds flavor to the noodles as they cook. Pour your box of pasta into the pan and boil until done on high heat. Drain the water and return noodles to pan.
Once your noodles have cooked all the way, your sauce should be just about ready as well. At this point you could add the noodles right into the sauce, which I hear gives really nice flavor. Normally I just keep the two separate and let us dish out our noodles and sauce individually, but either way that works with your family is perfect 🙂
Now, just sprinkle a good amount of Parmesan on and voila, an Italian sausage ziti!