Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain the pasta, and set aside.
Remove casings from sausage. Cook sausage, onion, and garlic in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until browned, stirring to crumble. Add the tomato paste, salt, pepper, and tomatoes, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Combine cooked pasta, sausage mixture, and basil. Place half of the pasta mixture in a 4-quart casserole coated with cooking spray. Top with half of mozzarella and half of Parmesan. Repeat layers. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until bubbly.
I've been making this recipe since it first appeared in Cooking Light magazine, so it's been years! This is great comfort food for colder weather, and very filling! I've been trying to watch my sodium intake, per doctor's orders, so I now use "no salt added" canned tomatoes and tomato paste. With all the cheese in the recipe, it still tastes plenty salty. It's definitely not a super-quick weeknight dinner, but it does reheat well, so I usually make it over the weekend and enjoy leftovers all week. I've even frozen and reheated it without compromising the texture too much. You can add additional veggies and seasonings to the sauce to suit your preferences. The recipe is also great as written.
I was pleasantly surprised at how good this was! I used regular sweet Italian sausage and I added a small can of V-8 juice since several people said it was dry. I baked it in an 11 x 13 glass dish for about 25 minutes. It came out perfect! I'll definitely make this again - I might add mushrooms next time.
Love this simple recipe and made a few adjustments to it. Instead of cooking with sausages, I used grounded pork instead. Add black pepper, paprika, cajun, asian grounded chili flakes and salt to season the meat. For the sauce I used a can of chopped tomatoes with sauce and blended a half cup of sun dried tomatoes. Baked it to perfection using penne. leftovers are sooo good too, and the felt that the blended sauce gets more flavour into the pasta overall
Very good! I used mild italian sausage. Per other reviews, I added some green bell pepper in with the onion. I increased the tomato paste to half the small can and used two thirds of a 12 oz bag of whole wheat penne. This was enough to fill up a 9x 13 pan. i think it would have been too dry if I used the amount of pasta called for in the recipe. My husband and nephew said it was awesome. Served with big salad and garlic bread.
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