Baked Ziti with Turkey Sausage


3/4 pounds uncooked turkey sausage, spicy-variety, casings removed

1 medium uncooked onion, chopped

1 medium green pepper, chopped

28 oz canned diced tomatoes

10 oz frozen green peas, thawed

2 Tbsp canned tomato pate

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp dried basil

1/2 tsp dried thyme

1/2 tsp fennel seed

1/2 tsp table salt, or to taste

1/2 tsp black pepper, freshly ground

12 oz uncooked whole-wheat pasta, ziti, cooked according to package directions

6 oz shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese


Position the rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven at 350°F.

Crumble sausage meat into a large saucepan and brown over medium heat, stirring often, about 4 minutes.

Drain off any fat, then add the onion and bell pepper. Cook stirring often, until softened, about 3 minutes.

Stir in the tomatoes, peas, tomato paste, oregano, basil, thyme, fennel seeds, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat and cook uncovered 5 minutes, stirring often.

Stir in the cooked pasta and half the cheese. Spread evenly into a 9x13 baking pan. Top evenly with the remaining cheese.

Bake until the cheese has melted and the casserole is bubbling  (about 20 minutes). Let stand 10 minutes at room temperature before slicing into 8 pieces.