How to make Million Dollar Baked Ziti
– 1 lb ziti
– 1 lb mild Italian sausage
– 4 cloves garlic, minced
– 2 teaspoons dried oregano
– 1 teaspoon dried basil
– 1 (28 oz) can tomato sauce
– 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
– 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
– 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
– 8 oz cream cheese, softened
– 16 oz cottage cheese
– 1/2 cup sour cream
– 1 1/2 cups Parmesan cheese, freshly grated and divided
2 cups mozzarella cheese, chopped into 1/4-inch cubes and divided
– Fresh basil, chopped, for serving
– Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
– Preheat oven to 375°F and grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with nonstick spray. Set aside.
– In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the pasta 2 minutes less than package instructions call for. Drain and drizzle with a bit of olive oil to prevent sticking. Set aside.
In a large skillet, cook the sausage over medium high heat until no longer pink, about 5 minutes.
– Drain fat, if needed.
– Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add oregano, basil, and season with salt and pepper.
– Stir in tomato sauce and diced tomatoes. Lower heat to medium and cook until mixture bubbles.
– Reduce heat to medium low and let simmer 10 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and stir in sugar and fresh basil. Set aside.
– In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add eggs, cottage cheese, and sour cream and mix until well combined. Stir in 1 cup of the Parmesan and 1 cup of the mozzarella.
– Add 1 cup of the red sauce and the drained pasta to cottage cheese mixture and stir to combine.
– Transfer to prepared baking dish.
– Top with remaining red sauce, followed by the remaining 1 cup mozzarella and 1/2 cup
– Spray a sheet of aluminum foil with nonstick spray and cover casserole. Bake for 25 minutes.
– Uncover and bake 25 minutes more. If desired, broil 1 to 2 minutes to brown cheese further.
– Let sit 10 minutes before serving. Top with chopped basil and enjoy!