dinner · Pasta

Baked Ziti with Sausage and Eggplant

Over the weekend, I was supposed to be baking a lot of cupcakes as a thank you to the amazing people who pray for and give to our ministry. But snow. So I decided to split my time between the kitchen, the snow, and a trip to Cuba, courtesy of the book “Next Year in Havana“. I’ll be returning it to the library asap, so you should go check it out. I’m currently a little obsessed with learning about Cuba’s history…

This baked ziti has absolutely nothing to do with Cuba, but it is a nice warm comfort meal! It’s pretty easy to make and restaurant-quality. I’ll show you a pic of the ingredients I used – chicken sausage from Trader Joe’s. I forgot to include the wine in the photo… sorry about that.

My parents got me this amazing Microplane grater for Christmas. I love that it has different things on each side, so I could shave my parm-regg in beautiful strips. It did also shave my finger really well the first time I used it… So Ryan bought me shredded mozzarella when he went to the store with my list (best husband award!!!)

Since it looks like this upcoming weekend may be a repeat of the last one, I thought I would share what we ate. Saturday night, we had this baked ziti with a Caesar salad and store-bought baguette. Afterward I made overnight cinnamon rolls for breakfast Sunday. Vanilla Almond Steamers for post-snow fun. Then we had baked potato soup for dinner Sunday night. And to top it all off, Ryan and kids made our favorite chocolate chip cookies on Monday (snow day). I’ll post those other two recipes in the next couple days!

Cast Iron pan filled with cheesy Italian baked ziti, eggplant, sausage and olives. A baguette is in the background.

Baked Ziti with Sausage and Eggplant

Course Dinner
Yield 8 servings


  • 4 tsp plus 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3/4 lb (12 oz) sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1 small eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 1 can (28 oz) crushed plum tomatoes with juices
  • 5 oz ziti, cooked until al dente
  • 1/3 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/4 cup Kalamata olives, rinsed and chopped
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste


  1. Position rack in upper third of oven; preheat to 400°F. 

  2. In a 10 or 12-inch oven-proof skillet or cast iron pan, warm 2 tsp oil over medium-high heat. Brown sausage 5 minutes; drain on paper towels. Discard all but 1 tbsp fat in the pan (I didn’t have any fat to discard due to the sausage I used). Set pan over medium-high heat and add 2 more tsp olive oil. Add eggplant and cook 6 minutes; transfer to a large bowl. Set pan back over medium heat and warm 1 tbsp oil. Add onion and cook 5-6 minutes. Add garlic; cook 1 minute. Add wine; increase heat to medium-high and bring to a boil, scraping up browned bits. Cook 3 minutes. Add tomatoes and juices; simmer 10 minutes. Meanwhile, cook your pasta.

  3. Add sausage, pasta, basil, olives, 2 cups mozzarella and tomato sauce to the bowl with the eggplant; stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer back to the pan. Sprinkle 1/2 cup mozzarella and Parmigiano-Reggiano over pasta. Cover with oven-proof lid or foil; bake 25 minutes. Uncover; broil at 500°F for 5 minutes until bubbly.


Source: Williams Sonoma

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