sausage pasta bake

Mar 26, 2011 by

i wish that i could be italian… making meatballs, homemade pasta and cannolis filled with marscapone cheese.  but i’m not.  i was, however, elated when i received “the italian issue” of the food network magazine a few months back.  it was full of all things italian and made me a very happy italian wannabe.

anyways, this is a really fun dish to throw together.  i thought that i was making it for two, by significantly cutting down the original amounts listed in the article.  let’s just say that moderation isn’t my strong suit when cooking.  i was going for a 8″ square dish, but it made enough for a 9×13″ pan and we had it for leftovers and lunch.  a few times.  it was still very delicious!  this dish is also very customizable, based on your own personal tastes.  my choices are in bold, below.

slightly adapted from: food network magazine

  • 2 c pasta: farfalle, cavatappi, rigatoni, penne


  • 1 tbsp evoo
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • red pepper flakes, to taste
  • 14 oz. can whole tomatoes
  • tomato paste
  • 1/4 c water
  • 2 tsp basil
  • 2 tbsp sugar

sauce mix-ins:

  • 1/2 c of one of the following:
    herb sauce: freshly chopped basil and parsley
    creamy saucericotta
    meat sauce: diced and browned pancetta


  • 1 1/2 cups of pretty much anything you’d like:
    pre-cooked meat/poultryitalian sausage, pepperoni, chicken, eggs
    veggiesroasted red peppers, artichokes, zucchini, mushrooms, eggplant, spinach


  • 1 c melting cheese and 1/2 c grating cheese
    melting cheese: mozzarella, provolone, fontina, asiago
    grating cheese: parmesan, pecorino, ricotta salata
  1. pre-heat the oven to 450°.
  2. bring a med pot of water to boil.  cook pasta for 2-3 min. less than the label directs.  drain.
  3. in a large skillet, heat evoo over med heat.  add garlic and a pinch of pepper flakes.  cook until garlic is golden.  add the tomatoes/paste, crushing tomatoes with your hands as you add them.  (it is messy, but adds a nice chunky tomato taste that is worth it!)   invest in a red apron.  add water, basil and sugar and simmer, uncovered until the sauce is thickened for about 15 min. or the amt. of time it takes to prepare the mix-ins.
  4. prep your mix-ins.
  5. add your choice of mix-ins to the sauce.
  6. toss the pasta with sauce and half of each cheese.  spread in a greased 8″ square baking dish.  sprinkle remaining cheese over pasta.  bake, uncovered for about 15 min. or until browned.

buon appetito!

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