Easy Baked Penne Pasta and Sausage
  • 1 lb. penne or ziti pasta
  • 6 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 6 oz. shredded Parmesan cheese (1 1/4 cups)
  • 3/4 tsp. garlic salt
  • 1/2 tsp. dried basil
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 lb. bulk Italian sausage
  • 2 tsp. red pepper flakes, or to taste (optional)
  • 1 tsp. fennel seed (optional)
  • 1 (28 oz.) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, such as Muir Glen brand (in the organic section)
  • 1 (26 oz.) jar basil and tomato pasta sauce
  1. Heat oven to 350-degrees. Grease a 13x9x2" baking dish and set aside.
  2. Cook pasta in lightly salted boilng water for 8-9 min. Drain.
  3. In skillet brown sausage (with fennel seed and pepper flakes) until thoroughly cooked and crumbly. Drain very well. Blot with paper towels to absorb as much grease as possible.
  4. In medium-size bowl, stir together the cheeses, garlic salt, basil and black pepper.
  5. In large bowl, stir together pasta, half the cheese mixture, half the drained tomatoes and half the pasta sauce.
  6. Spoon pasta mixture evenly into prepared baking dish. Top with (in order) remaining drained tomatoes, pasta sauce and cheese mixture.
  7. Cover and bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for 15 more minutes, or until bubbly. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Can sprinkle with snipped fresh parsley before serving, if desired. Yield: 8 servings.
It's easy, yummy, good for potlucks and is a crowd pleaser