This is a HUGE recipe- this makes between 12-14 large servings and could be halved easily.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/3 pounds sweet Italian sausage (remove from the casing)
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 jars of good-quality marinara sauce
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
2 pounds of ziti pasta
1 pound mozzarella cheese
1 1/2 pounds ricotta cheese
1 cup grated parmesan
1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large sauce pot. Crumble in the sausage and brown, breaking it up as you go, until cooked through. Add the garlic and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add the marinara sauce and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes. Stir in the basil at the last minute.
2. Meanwhile, cook the ziti- leave it just a little underdone- and drain.
3. Chop 2/3 of the mozzarella into 1/4 inch cubes. Grate the remaining mozzarella.
4. Place half of the ricotta cheese in a large bowl. Add about half of the tomato sauce. Stir together, then add the pasta and the chopped mozzarella. Toss everything until it is evenly coated.
5. Spoon half of the pasta into a large baking dish. Spread the remaining ricotta over the top, then half of the remaining tomato sauce. Next, add the rest of the pasta and then the remaining sauce. Top with the grated mozzarella and parmesan.
6. Heat oven to 350. Cover the baking dish tightly with foil, and bake for 45 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 20-25 minutes until top is browned and bubbly.