On my last freezer cooking adventure, I bought two 2kg packages of Italian chicken sausage. I decided to use a bunch of it in this recipe I found over here . I have done two big batches of freezer cooking now, and am finding it to be super convenient, and most of the recipes I have used are awesome.
I first made a version of this recipe on my first foray into freezer cooking back in January (pre-blog!). The hubs loved it, so I decided to make a few extra helpings this time around. A word to the wise, when you are assembling this recipe, it looks a little strange, but trust me, follow through, it’s totally worth it!!
Baked Ziti Freezer Cooking Recipe
Makes 6-8 8x8 foil baking pans of pasta!
1 kg package of cottage cheese (I used fat free)
8 ounces + 3 ¾ cups parmesan cheese
1 onion, chopped
8 ¾ cups tomato sauce
2.5 lbs pasta
2 ½ cups mozzarella
3 lbs Italian sausage
10 cloves of garlic, chopped or minced
2.5 tbsp olive oil
3 x 14 ounce cans of diced tomatoes
1 cup chopped basil
2 ½ cups milk
3 tsp sugar
1.5 tbsp cornstarch
Salt and pepper
In a bowl, combine the cottage cheese, eggs and 8 ounces of Parmesan cheese.
In a really really really large saucepan, combine onion, Italian sausage, and garlic with the olive oil and cook until onion is transparent and the sausage is cooked completely.
Mix tomato sauce and diced tomatoes into the sausage mixture. Simmer all sauce ingredients on the stove top for 20 minutes, or in the crock pot for an hour or two. After the simmer has completed, remove from heat, stir in basil and sugar, and season with salt and pepper.
Cook the pasta until it begins to soften but is not completely cooked through, about 5-7 minutes. Drain.
In a small bowl, stir together the milk and cornstarch. Transfer the mixture to the pot you just cooked the pasta in. Bring to a simmer and cook until thickened, approx. 3-4 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and add the cottage cheese mixture, 4 cups of the tomato meat sauce and 1.5 cups mozzarella. Stir to combine.
At this point, you should probably grab your biggest turkey roasting pan. This recipe makes an insane amount of food. Put the pasta into your huge dish, toss to coat thoroughly with the sauce and cottage cheese mixture.
Split the pasta between 6-8 foil lined baking dishes (depending on the size container you use). Spread the remaining tomato sauce over the tops of the dishes. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on the top.
From frozen: Thaw, cover with foil, bake at 350 for 30 minutes, remove foil and bake another 30 minutes.