Sausage and Pepper Baked Ziti

My family loves baked ziti and I was craving comfort casserole. This recipe feeds many so cut in half or make 2 portions and freeze one. Make it meatless and leave the sausage out.

Ingredients:

2 pounds of ground italian sausage, I used sweet

1 package of chopped peppers, I purchased these in the produce department

1 cup onion, chopped

1 16 ounce box of ziti

2 jars of your favorite marinara (spaghetti) sauce, use what you need. I had about a half a jar leftover

1 32 ounce container of ricotta cheese

3/4 cup Parmesan cheese (the dry kind that you shake out)

3 Tablespoons chopped parsley

3 eggs

1 package/container Parmesan shreds (grated)

2 pounds grated mozzarella cheese

In a skillet, brown sausage with peppers and onions. While your sausage is cooking, you can boil the ziti noodles. Cook according to package directions. Drain grease from sausage and drain pasta. Put pasta in a bowl and toss with a small amount of marinara sauce. Set both aside.

In a medium size bowl, add ricotta, eggs, dry Parmesan and parsley and mix thoroughly.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

I used a large 9 x 15 casserole dish, prepare with nonstick cooking spray. Spread some marinara sauce on the bottom of casserole dish.

Layer half of your ziti in the bottom of your pan. Add a layer of the ricotta mixture and top ricotta with the sausage and peppers.

Top sausage and peppers with marinara sauce and grated Parmesan.

Add half of your mozzarella cheese on top of the Parmesan cheese.

Repeat layers. Bake 30-40 minutes until hot and bubbly.

Serve with a salad, garlic bread and glass of vino. Manga! Enjoy!

Low Carb Italian Bowl of Love

Ingredients:

2  Sausages (I used Al Fresco)

1/2  cup roasted vegetables (I used Trader Joe’s Fire Roasted Peppers and Onions, you can make your own roasted vegetables by grilling or broiling)

3 Tablespoons or more to taste marinara sauce

Parmesan cheese, optional


Cook sausages, I grilled mine. Slice into bite size pieces. Warm up vegetables and marinara sauce. Combine ingredients and garnish with Parmesan cheese if desired. You can serve this over low carb pasta if you wish but it will change the carb count from low carb to medium high carb.


***As far as the carb count goes, the sausages I used were 1 carb each. The toasted vegetables were about 4 carbs. My marinara was on the high side, I didn’t notice it until I read the label. I used tomato basil flavor and used about 3 tablespoons which was approximately 4 carbs. My goal carb count 9 carbs. Not bad. I didn’t count the cheese because I used so little. You will need to read your labels to see what your total carb count is. I currently have 2 boxes of low carb pasta in my pantry but I find the carb count on the high side. I can’t imagine what regular pasta is.

Sausage Breakfast Casserole

This is one of those great recipes that you make ahead of time and bake later. This recipe is great for breakfast or for dinner paired with a salad. You can substitute ham in place of the sausage if you wish.

1 pound ground pork sausage
1 teaspoon ground mustard (the dry spice)
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 eggs beaten
2 cups milk (any kind but skim)
6 slices of stale or day old white bread cut into pieces
8 ounces of sharp cheddar cheese

Crumble and cook sausage until brown and drain.

In a medium bowl, combine eggs, milk, pepper, salt, and mustard. Add sausage, bread cubes and cheese. Stir well to combine. Cover and place in fridge for 8 hours (minimum) or best yet, overnight.

Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 35 minutes or until done. Enjoy!

20140104-214133.jpg