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Baked Ziti and Sausage

Total Time

Prep: 25 min. Bake: 30 min.

Makes

6 servings

This is my husband's favorite casserole, and he requests it often. He loves the combination of zesty Italian meat and three types of cheese, which together create a scrumptious baked ziti with sausage.—Christina Ingalls, Manhattan, Kansas

Ingredients

  • 3 cups uncooked ziti or other small tube pasta
  • 1/2 pound Italian sausage links
  • 1/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon pepper, divided
  • 2 cups 2% milk
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1 large egg, room temperature, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups 4% cottage cheese
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
  • 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • Paprika

Directions

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Preheat oven to 350°. Drain; place in a large bowl. In a small skillet, cook sausage over medium heat until no longer pink; drain and cut into 1/2-in. slices.
  2. In a large saucepan, melt butter. Stir in the flour, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper until smooth; gradually add milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir until thickened, 2 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Pour over pasta; toss to coat.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the egg, cottage cheese, parsley, and remaining Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Spoon half of the pasta mixture into a greased 2-1/2-qt. baking dish. Top with cottage cheese mixture. Add sausage to the remaining pasta mixture; spoon over the top. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and paprika.
  4. Bake, uncovered, until a thermometer reads 160°, 30-35 minutes.

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