we eat | one pot sausage + meatball ziti

second week in a row for pasta.  we haven’t eaten this much pasta since before I got pregnant with Baker baby.  a few weeks back the bestie sent me a link for a delicious one-pot pasta meal she made in a snap.  in a snap??  um, yes.  I legit had one pan to clean at the end of this meal.  thats what I’m talking about!  now that Baker is eating food- the addition of a highchair to hose down in the evenings just adds to the post-dinner chaos and clean up.. so having the least amount of dishes to clean when its all said and done is optimal.   
this meal did not disappoint!  I ate it for breakfast the next day. 
yes.  yes I did.
 one-pot sausage + meatball ziti
1 pound ground Italian sausage (I used just one roll)
12 ounce package fully cooked chicken meatballs 
1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (15 ounce) can fire roasted diced tomatoes
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
2 tsp olive oil
6 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves (add it at the end)
1/2 tsp dried oregano
3 cups water
16 ounces ziti
1cup half and half or heavy cream
1 cup fresh Parmesan cheese
ground black pepper + salt to taste as needed
Add olive oil to a deep, 12-inch or larger skillet over medium heat. Add sausage cook until browned, about 3-5 minutes. Add the garlic and crushed red pepper flakes to the pan and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the meatballs, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, basil and oregano. Stir well. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 5-10 minutes.
Add the water and dry pasta. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to a low boil and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10-15 minutes or until noodles are tender.
Stir in the half and half, and parmesan cheese and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with additional parmesan sprinkles over top. 
 the original recipe called for the ziti to be sprinkled with mozzarella cheese and then baked for a handful of minutes to melt, but by the time we have everyone wrangled to the dinner table- I skipped that additional step and served it straight off the stove.  
one tip I might add is to use really good parmesan cheese.  I used to watch barefoot contessa with Ina Garten on the food network and couldn’t stand it when she would talk about ‘good olive oil‘ or ‘really good parmesan cheese’. well, what is the difference, Ina? 
as I’ve become more seasoned in the kitchen- it does make a huge difference.  I caught myself saying this to a girlfriend the other day and realized that I can relate to you, Ina.  no more eye rolling from me when you talk about those good essential ingredients.
so.  that being said.. skip the $1.50 bag of parmesan hanging next to the velveeta and peruse the fancy cheese selection in your store for good parmesan cheese.  a favorite in my local grocery store is six bucks.  
worth every penny and I use in in everything!

most likely you have a lot (or all) of these ingredients already in your pantry- 
so.. whats for dinner tonight? 
you don’t even have to ask!

January 26, 2016

  1. YUM! This looks amazing!

  2. this looks like a must try! it will definitely be added into our weekly dinner menu!

  3. Do you happen to have the nutrition info on this recipe. It sounds yummy and something my whole family would enjoy. I've been watching my calories and keeping up with it in my fitness pal. Thank you!