Thursday, April 28, 2011

Baked Penne Pasta with Italian Sausage

My kids love pasta. I could do without all the carbs myself but I love pasta too because it’s inexpensive, easy and the choices are endless. We had leftover Italian sausages and ricotta cheese so I decided to do a baked pasta last night. I added some onion, garlic and roasted peppers too. I topped everything off with my homemade marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese. This recipe is kind of random. I just made it up as I was cooking but it came out delicious. I don’t think you can mess this up. Just mix it all up, bake and I’m sure something good will come out of the oven.

Baked Penne Pasta with Italian Sausage

Penne pasta – cook until al dente, drain and set aside
Olive oil
Onion, chopped
Fennel seed
Crushed red pepper
Basil, chopped
Roasted peppers
Italian sausage
Marinara sauce – I used my homemade sauce, but you can use store bought
Ricotta cheese
Mozzarella cheese

Spray baking dish with cooking spray. I used 2 individual dishes. You can use a big one for a large group. Spread marinara sauce on the bottom of the dishes.

In a skillet, heat olive oil. Add in onion, garlic, fennel seed, crushed red pepper, basil, and roasted peppers. Cook until tender.

Add in sausage chunks. Cook for a couple of minutes.

In a bowl, mix pasta with marinara sauce. Add in the pepper/sausage mixture.

Divide pasta evenly in dishes, or put all of it in one big dish.

Drop spoonfuls of ricotta cheese into the pasta dishes. Make sure to mix it a little bit. You want it to be in with the pasta/sauce mixture.

Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and mix a little bit.

Cover the top of the pasta with more mozzarella and fresh basil.

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