During this busy time of year, baked ziti is a delicious dish that goes together in a hurry. It can be made ahead and frozen. Be sure to defrost it and allow extra cooking time.
1-16 ounce package ziti pasta
1 pound hot ground Italian sausage, sweet or hot
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large can diced mushrooms, drained, optional
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
6 ounces basil pesto, either homemade or store-bought in a jar
15 ounces ricotta cheese
1 (9-ounce) package washed baby spinach, stems removed
Butter, for baking dish
2 cups shredded mozzarella, plus more for topping
1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan, plus more for topping
Note: If available you can substitute turkey Italian sausage or chicken Italian sausage. You
can also substitute one package of chopped frozen spinach, but be sure to drain it well after
you have defrosted it.