Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Italian Street Food and Baked Ziti

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I so enjoy using our veggies and herbs when preparing a meal. Because we grow organic, all is free of pesticides, radiation, wax, and genetically engineered manipulation.

Will and I love Italian food. I have taken Giada's Sausage, Peppers and Onion recipe, a.k.a. Italian Street Food, and a recipe for Perfect Potluck Baked Ziti from Good Housekeeping, May 2005 issue, mixed them up and come up with two stellar dishes! The best part, two meals, same pots, one mess, one clean-up!

Italian Street Food

A half of this recipe serves 2-3. I save half of this recipe to make Baked Ziti

Whole recipe serves 4-6 Recipe may be doubled.

1 1/2 lb. sweet Italian sausage w/o casing.

(I buy mine from Sprouts.)

2 yellow onions, sliced in wedges

2 large red peppers, sliced in wedges

(It's pretty using 1 red and 1 yellow pepper.)

1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 cup chopped fresh basil

(or 2 tablespoons dried basil)

4 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 cup Marsala wine

(1 cup of dry sherry is a good substitute.)

1 (15- ounce) can diced tomatoes

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional

Heat pan over medium heat.

Add the bulk sausage and cook until brown, about 5-7 minutes.

Remove from pan and drain on paper towel.

Keeping pan over medium heat, discard all but 2 tablespoon of sausage fat.

If sausage is lean add extra virgin olive oil to equal 2 tablespoons.

Add onions, peppers, salt and pepper and cook until onions are lightly brown, about 5 minutes.

Add oregano, basil and garlic and cook 2 more minutes,

Add the tomato paste and stir.

Add the Marsala wine, tomatoes, and chili flakes, if using.

Stir to combine, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to release brown bits.

Bring to a simmer.

Add sausage back into pan and stir to combine.

Cook until the sauce has thickened, about 20 minutes.

Serve in bowls with hot crusty bread as a dipper.

Makes 2 large servings.

Reserve half to make Baked Ziti.

Onions cut in wedges.

Italian Street Food

Baked Ziti

1 can (28 ounces) whole tomatoes in purée
8 ziti or penne pasta
4 ounces mozzarella
1/4 cup Parmesan or Pecorino Romano

To remaining Italian Street Food add tomatoes.
Break up tomatoes with side of wooden spoon.
Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat medium covered saucepan of salted water to boiling over high heat.
Add pasta; cook 2 minutes less than cooking time recommended on label.

Drain pasta in colander.
Pour sausage mixture and pasta into a large casserole or 9"x13" baking dish.

Mix together well.
Top with cheese, bake at 350F. 20-25 minutes until bubbly and cheese starts to brown.

To Freeze: Cool, cover with two thicknesses of plastic wrap.
With a permanent marker, write date, oven temp. and cooking time.
To bake take out a day ahead to thaw or use microwave defrost cycle.

If you decide you want to make just Baked Ziti recipe, use the Italian Street Food recipe above,
and the added ingredient amounts below.

1 lb. of ziti or penne pasta cooked in a large saucepan.
8 ounces of mozzarella
1/2 cup Parmesan, or Pecorino Romano

My recipes were made with our garden-grown tomatoes, peppers, garlic, basil, and oregano.
Next time I'm hoping the onions I use will also come from our garden!

It was really fun making both recipes today. We ate Italian Street Food for lunch with crusty bread, and a Baked Ziti is in the freezer for healthy "fast food" anytime we want it . . . Over at Julie's!!!

Buon appetito! Enjoy your meal!



  1. I love your beautiful pictures. I followed your recipe myself, it is absolutely delicious. I highly recommend to anyone who would like to prepare a great meal for a family to enjoy together.

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    1. This is one of our favorite meals . . . we begin with a steaming bowl of Italian Street Food and crusty bread and a week or two latter I pull the Baked Ziti out of the freezer, thaw and bake for 25 minutes at 350 until bubbly and golden on top!

  3. Thank you for your kind words! Thanks also for sharing recipes with me, I'm always looking for recipes to try!


Your comments and questions are welcomed . . .