Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Italian Sausage and Mozzarella Pasta Bake

Pasta Bake

This photo has been sitting in my Flickr for a while now so it's about time I post the recipe. I have a weak spot for extra cheesy dishes and this one has a whopping 1:1 ratio of pasta to mozzarella. The best part is how each scoop pulls away never-ending tendrils of gooey, melty cheese.

A note:
Leave the pasta boil the pasta two minutes short of al dente because it will finish cooking in the oven. If you boil it to al dente, it will overcook in the oven.

Italian Sausage and Mozzarella Pasta Bake
serves 3 - 4

8 oz. pasta (penne, cellantani, farfalle, campanelle)
2 Italian sausages, removed from casings
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1/4 C red wine
1 14oz. can diced tomatoes, drained
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
1 tsp Italian herb mix
1/8 tsp sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tsp olive oil
8 oz. mozzarella, cut into 1/2 inch cubes (preferably fresh mozzarella)
1/4 C grated Parmesan

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil and boil the pasta to 2 minutes short of the recommended time.

Meanwhile, heat a teaspoon of olive oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the Italian sausage and break into bite size pieces. When the sausage has browned, remove and set aside. Add the onion and some salt and pepper, and cook over medium heat until the onions have softened, then add the Italian sausage back in. Add the minced garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add 1/4 C red wine and cook until almost evaporated. Add the drained diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, and herbs, and a little sugar to taste. Simmer until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Add the pasta to the sauce and toss to combine. Add half of the mozzarella and mix it into the pasta. Transfer to a 2 quart baking dish. Top with the remaining half of mozzerella cubes and grated Parmesan. Bake until bubbly and lightly browned, about 10 to 15 minutes.


Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

I am powerless to resist baked pasta dishes like this one -- there is something primal about the melted cheese and pasta that brings me right back to childhood.

Bettina said...

yum! love the bowl! :P

Anonymous said...

Mmmm! A cheesy pasta dish with hot Italian sausage... it doesn't get any better than this!

Wandering Chopsticks said...

Hey! I just posted a pasta recipe with Italian sausage too! It's nice to see our eating is aligning again. ;)

Peabody said...

My husband would be all over this. Perhaps I will be kind and make it for him next week. Thanks for the idea.

Susan @ SGCC said...

Looks awesome! This is my kind of comfort food!

RecipeGirl said...

Oh my gosh- that gooey melted cheese is speaking to me. It's saying... you must make me soon! Great pic!

Dawn0fTime said...

I just read your post on FoodBlogS'cool, and thought I'd come check out your blog. It's very well done! Very professional. I love the photography. And this dish looks so cheezy-melty-good I'm drooling on my keyboard!

Anonymous said...

You better submit this to Presto Pasta Nights. It's drool worthy!!!

Cookie baker Lynn said...

Yum, yum. You had me at cheese! My family would love this. It's health food, right?

ptpix said...

I'm guessing at some point you add the sausage that you set aside back into the mix?

Amy said...

I too love baked pasta dishes, I just love seeing the cheese brown on top.

I know me too! Best little personal sized casserole dish ever.

I agree!

I saw! Now if only our eating can align when you go to eat XLB. <3


Same here!

Recipe Girl,
Thanks! The gooey cheese is definitely the best part. :)

Thank you! I'm so glad you stopped by.

That's a good idea!

3 a day dairy right? Cheese is definitely good for you. Sausage and pasta too. ;)

Thanks for catching that! I'll update the recipe to reflect the changes.

Rachel said...

Great dish! My family loved it!

Elaine said...

i just made this dish i love it ! i was craving pasta and saw this. i ran to the store and scooped up the ingredients i didnt have and bam heaven in my mouth


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