Baked Ziti with Turkey Sausage
3/4 pound mild turkey sausage, casings removed
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium green bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
One 28-oz can diced tomatoes
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
12 oz dried whole wheat ziti, cooked according to the package's instructions and drained
6 oz fat-free Mozzarella cheese, grated
1. Position the rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. Brown the sausage over medium heat until it crumbles.
3. Drain off any fat, then add the onion and bell pepper. Cook, stirring often, until softened, about 3 minutes.
4. Stir in the tomatoes, 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.
5. Stir in the pasta and half the grated cheese. Spread evenly into a 9 x 13-inch baking pan. Top evenly with the remaining cheese.
6. Bake until the cheese has melted and the casserole is bubbling, about 20 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes at room temperature before serving.