I have made this pasta at least twice a year since it first appeared in C.L. magazine - both my husband and I LOVE the recipe and it feeds a real crowd. A few hints / tricks - undercook your pasta a bit (a lot if using whole wheat) as the pasta will continue to cook in the bake time; always use fresh basil; feel free to use the whole 4 oz can of tomato paste instead of just 2 tbsp (makes it so the bake is not watery in the slightest and there is no waste from the paste), and for the last 3 minutes of the bake, broil on high to get that gorgeous crisp browned topping! We find that Jennie-O hot italian turkey sausage links are the best in this dish, and frequently sub out 1/2 of the moz cheese for provalone just to give it a little more pizzaz. Simple and easy to make with dynamite flavors. If you haven't tried this one already, put it on your menu list and try it out immediately! Enjoy!
Baked Pasta with Sausage, Tomatoes, and Cheese
This easy, cheesy pasta recipe features ziti, turkey sausage, canned tomatoes, and fresh basil. It's a perfect pasta dish for busy weeknights.
Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 1 1/2 cups)
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Amount per serving
- Calories: 413
- Calories from fat: 26%
- Fat: 11.8g
- Saturated fat: 6.1g
- Monounsaturated fat: 2.2g
- Polyunsaturated fat: 1g
- Protein: 24.1g
- Carbohydrate: 53g
- Fiber: 4.5g
- Cholesterol: 49mg
- Iron: 7.9mg
- Sodium: 941mg
- Calcium: 265mg
- 1 (1-pound) package uncooked ziti (short tube-shaped pasta)
- 1 pound hot turkey Italian sausage links
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 (14.5-ounce) cans petite-diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
- Cooking spray
- 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded fresh mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup (4 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- 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.
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