Baked Penne Pasta with Italian Sausage

Hello world!  It feels like I’ve been gone for so long.  First it was Thanksgiving, and then I got struck with the stomach flu, which ended up turning into some weird cold, sore throat, stuffy nose type of thing.  But anyway, I’m on the mend.  Prior to all that craziness, I made a delicious dish of baked pasta.  If you’ve seen my previously blogged about Baked Spaghetti recipe then you can probably assume that I enjoy baked pasta dishes.  And it’s true.  I think most of that has to do with the fact that I just love when things are smothered in cheese!  And baked pasta dishes usually are.

I wanted something similar to the Baked Spaghetti recipe, but that had a bit more of an Italian zing to it.  Surely a recipe with Italian sausage would do the trick, right?  Right!   Ok, let’s begin.

Meet our cast of characters for today: tomato paste, tomato sauce, can of diced tomatoes with garlic, white wine, Italian sausage (I prefer mild), onion, mozzarella cheese & penne pasta.

I’d also like you to say “hello” to Angus.  He likes to sit on the mat in front of the sink while I’m in the kitchen.

“Hello, Angus.”

Alright so now, preheat your oven to 350.  Then bring a pot of water with a few dashes of salt to a boil.  Once boiling, add your pasta and cook for about 8-10 minutes, or until al dente.  Drain the pasta and set to the side.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large pan.  Then add in the sausage and onion.  Heat on medium high until brown.

Sorry, I wish I could make sausage look more attractive, but I just can’t! One thing to note is that I took the casing off of the sausage that I had more of a ground sausage substance, instead of sausage links.

Drain the excess fat, then pour in wine.  Stir for a couple of minutes.

Then add in tomato paste, tomato sauce & can of diced tomatoes.  Also, I didn’t picture this ingredient, but my husband loves mushrooms, so I ended up chopping up about 2 cups of mushrooms and added that to the pan.  Simmer together for about 10 minutes.

Mix with cooked pasta in a 9×13 baking dish.

Layer with cheese.

Man, I love cheese!  Ok, once you’ve got the entire dish covered in cheese, cover the entire pan with tin foil.  Then place in your already heated oven and bake for 45 minutes.  And then enjoy!  This is a great meal to make when you’re feeding a crowd of 6-8, or if you want a meal that you can freeze and eat leftovers at a later time.

From the consensus that I received from my family, I’d say that the dish was a success!

Ingredients

  • 12 oz dry penne pasta
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1.5 pounds mild Italian sausage
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 2 cups chopped mushrooms
  • 1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes with garlic
  • 1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup shredded colby jack cheese

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Bring a large pot of slightly salted water to a boil.  Add penne pasta and cook for about 10 minutes, or until al dente.  Drain.
  2. Heat oil in a large pan.  Place sausage and onion in pan and cook until sausage has been browned.  Drain fat.  Pour in wine and let simmer for about a minute.  Add tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, tomato paste & mushrooms.  Stir until thoroughly mixed with sausage and onions.  Simmer for about 10 minutes.  Mix with pasta in 9×13 baking dish.  Top with cheese.  Cover with foil.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

 

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