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Baked Ziti



1 bag of pasta (rigatoni, in this case)

1 jar of pasta sauce, choose your favorite flavor

1 one lb package of bulk Italian sausage

1 ball of mozzarella cheese

1 bag of pre-shredded 4 Italian cheese blend cheese

1 container of ricotta cheese

1 onion, chopped

a few cloves of garlic


Boil water for pasta. While waiting for it to boil, sautee onions and garlic in a sauce pot until translucent. Heat a little olive oil in another pan and move about 1/5 of the onions from the pot to that pan. Add the pork, making sure to stir regularly and break up the large chunks. Add sauce to the pot with the onions and garlic and heat, covered. Cook the sausage until it's slightly browned. Meanwhile, using slicing slats on a cheese grater, slice about half of the mozzarella ball. Cook pasta and drain it. Then take a 9x13 (or whatever you have that's close to that) pan and spray it with non-stick spray. Layer ingredients. I like to start with most of the pasta, then add some of the meat, then a bit of sauce, then the sliced mozzarella cheese, then the ricotta and a bit of the shredded cheese, then the rest of the meat, more sauce, the rest of the pasta, the rest of the sauce, and the rest of the shredded cheese. I like to smooth over each layer with a huge wooden spoon (particularly to blend the ricotta with the sauce). This is not science, so layer as you prefer. It's possible that I didn't do it exactly this way myself. Stick the pan in the oven, covered, for 25 minutes, and cook it uncovered for another 5. Ta da.

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Taken on April 18, 2007