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Lasagna Style Baked Ziti

 Posted at Foodie Friday and Food on Friday

Before we get into the actual cooking part, I have something to say. My darling boy, who at 2 years old can barely talk, does not sleep through the night and is not potty trained, does know how to make tea. I caught him yesterday playing in the kitchen with one of his plastic cups, a teabag he got off the counter and a teaspoon. He also tried to get the milk out of the fridge to put in it, but I was in time to avert that disaster. But I like to think that I've managed to install in him a good sense of his mummy's culture. I mean, being British is just all about drinking tea, right? I normally let him 'help' when I'm making tea by letting him put the teabags in the cups, he gets pretty excited about it.

But yes, onto the food! This one is a great quick and easy meal.

Lasagna Style Baked Ziti (aka lasagna for lazy people)
Serves 4


  • 1 pound ziti
  • A splash of olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 pound Italian sausage
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh oregano (optional)
  • 1 jar pasta sauce (Bertolli Marinara Sauce is best for this, but you can probably use any red sauce)
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino (Parmesan is fine too, I just prefer Pecorino.)
  • 1 15-ounce container ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup baby spinach (or more if you prefer)
  • 1 'ball' fresh mozzarella, drained and torn into small pieces (1 cup grated mozzarella from a bag is absolutely fine too)

mmmm, garlic...

  1. Cook the ziti according to the package instructions. Heat oven to 400° F.
  2. In a large pot, over medium-low heat, heat the oil. Add the onion, salt, and pepper. Cook until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the Italian sausage, increase heat to medium-high, and cook until no pink remains, about 8 minutes. Drain any liquid, add the garlic and oregano and cook for 2 minutes. Add the pasta sauce and heat for about 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
  4. Add the cooked pasta and toss to coat. Add the Parmesan, ricotta, and spinach and toss again.
  5. Spread the mixture into a 9-by-13-inch baking dish and sprinkle with the mozzarella. Bake until the mozzarella melts and the top is starting to brown, about 15 - 20 minutes.

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I am a 24 year old British stay at home mother to a two year old boy. Married to a U.S. soldier and currently living in Germany.

I have seen the Vatican from the very top of St Peter's Basilica, the mud in the World War I trenches outside Ypres. I have walked through Montmartre side streets bustling with people in the evening, gotten lost in the streets of Greenwich Village NYC, run through cornfields on the Welsh border and sat outside with a cup of tea watching fireflies in the fields of the outer Chicago suburbs.

I have held the hands of others through addiction, fear, suicide, despair and come out the other side. I have left everything behind to begin anew.
I have fought mental illness and walked through snow in the mountains of the lake district, England. I have explored the morgue in the bowels of an abandoned hospital on a summer evening, climbed to the top of scaffolding on the outside of a five floor warehouse to look at the city lights of Nottingham at night and I have watched the sun setting on the Texas horizon.

I have held my son's tiny hand through the plastic window on an isolette in the NICU ward. Walked, speaking only in whispers, through the catacombs beneath the ground on the outskirts of Rome and seen the fireworks over Heidelberg castle.