Pasta Bake With Sausage

Pasta bake with sausage (baked ziti) is basically a lazy day lasagna with layers of pasta tossed in a rich tomato meat sauce packed with Italian sausage, layered with lots of gooey golden mozzarella cheese, and baked to perfection. It’s an easy and delicious casserole dinner to make any day of the week. Plus, you can even make it ahead and freeze for another day.

INGREDIENTS

1 lb. (454 grams) penne pasta

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 lb. Italian sausage

1 cup onionfinely chopped

1 tablespoon garlicminced

4 cups tomato sauce

1 tablespoon Italian seasoning

1 cup Parmesan cheesefreshly grated, divided

¼ cup fresh parsleyfinely chopped

¼ cup fresh basilchopped

1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)

½ teaspoon ground black pepper (or to taste)

3 cups fresh mozzarella cheese, shredded

DIRECTIONS

– Preheat oven to 375F.

– Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add pasta and cook until al dente (fully cooked but still firm), about 8-10 minutes, or according to package directions. Drain well and set aside.

– Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large pot (or 4 qt. Dutch oven) for 2 minutes over medium-high heat until the hot oil sizzles. Add sausage and stir to cook until browned, about 5-7 minutes. Use a spatula to break the sausages into small pieces.

– Add onions and garlic and sauté until soft and tender, about 2-3 minutes. Stir to combine.

– Pour in tomato sauce, turn the heat down to medium, and bring the meat sauce to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Stir in Italian seasoning, ½ cup Parmesan cheese, parsley and basil. Season with salt and pepper.

– Transfer the cooked and drained pasta into the sauce and toss well to mix evenly.

– Spread half of the pasta into a 9×13 casserole pan and top with half of mozzarella cheese (1.5 cups). Add the remaining pasta and sprinkle the remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese evenly on top.

– Bake the pasta for 25 minutes until the melted cheese is golden brown. Let cool for 15 minutes, then serve.

NUTRITION FACTS
Serves 8
Serving Size: 1 serving
Calories Per Serving: 433
Total Fat – 12g -15%
Cholesterol – 25.6mg – 9%
Sodium – 897.6mg – 39%
Total Carbohydrate-  53.6g – 20%
Sugars – 7.5g
Protein – 28.6g – 57%
Vitamin A –136.1µg – 15%
Vitamin C – 13.6mg – 15%

 

Reference: Ahead of Thyme

Written by: Omojo Emeje

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