Baked Pasta with Sausage, Tomatoes, and Cheese

  • Patten Posted: 02/25/09
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    great flavors. makes A LOT of food. will DEFINITELY make again!

  • tmgcooks Posted: 11/04/08
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    Yes, a good, solid recipe to build on. I added 1 cup red and green bell pepper strips and 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes after the sausage was browned. Substituted a 28oz jar of tomato and basil marinara for 1 can of tomatoes and the fresh basil. When adding the pasta, I also added 4 oz fresh baby spinach. With the extra veggies, I needed the additional sauce. Result was wonderful--colorful and tasty.

  • gmtaus Posted: 03/04/09
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    I've made this recipe several times and each time I try something a little different. I've used regular Italian sausage, cut in bitesized pieces and browned added to the mixture. I add basil to the tomatoes when it is simmering and more garlic than called for, plus a pinch of red pepper flakes to spice it up. Last week I made it without any meat and it was a hit. Freezes well after assembly, just needs more time in oven to heat.

  • kaidibug Posted: 11/07/08
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    This was very tasty and we would make again. We added a little extra basil and a lot more garlic than called for and used italian seasoned tomatoes and whole wheat penne. Be advised that this makes a HUGE amount of pasta! If we make again (it is just two of us), I will either half it or freeze half.

  • CindyH Posted: 03/13/09
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    Although hubby picked up the wrong kind of sausage, this still was exceptionally good and easy to put together! I love it and plan to definitely have his as a keeper!

  • taylesworth Posted: 05/31/10
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    Made this for my mom and sister who were visiting. Very easy and quick and everyone enjoyed it. I'll definitely make it again.

  • wadesertdweller Posted: 10/16/09
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    I serve this often for guests and it always gets rave reviews. Seems everyone wants a copy of this recipe! I always double it and freeze half. It gets a little soupy when baked after being frozen, but it still tastes wonderful. I serve this with a Caesar salad and toasted garlic bread. Yum!

  • SwtHeart122 Posted: 03/25/09
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    GREAT FLAVOR! I think this is the best red sauce I have ever made! My BF loved it too. I did make a few adjustments however... I used real pork sausage (spicy), double the garlic, a couple dashes of chili powder, about 3/4 can tomato paste and a little over half of the pasta (oh yeah, and more cheese!). So mine was anything but light but oh my goodness, it was so, so, so very good! Took a good while to get it all together though, I would say about an hour and a half start to finish!! But you could easily make it ahead of time and have 2-3 meals for a couple. Will absolutely make again!!

  • smarty Posted: 11/12/08
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    My husband loves this, but he loves anything pasta. We've made it a few times and it's easy and good. But, I always feel like it's a little dry.

  • Carlita Posted: 03/19/09
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    This was very good but if you are cooking for 4, definitely cook half the pasta. For 8, double the sauce. I added a bit more cheese, red pepper flakes, and basil and everybody had seconds!

  • dpetrin Posted: 02/20/09
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    Excellent recipe. I added chopped green & red peppers as well as some baby spinach. I used Jalapeno chicken sausage to kick it up a notch and some crushed red pepper. It was awesome

  • adrienneo Posted: 05/30/09
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    This was really good for a go-to meal during the week. It was easy to make and quick. My family and I loved it!

  • LauraCrombie Posted: 01/18/09
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    My boyfriend says this is his absolute favorite dish that I make. It's great right out of the oven, and even better as a leftover. We love it!

  • LynnieM Posted: 01/22/09
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    I made half of the recipe and thought the taste was very good but rather dry. I had even added some tomato sauce based upon what others had said about this recipe. I would make again but would like it to be not so dry. Sausage was great !

  • TreenL Posted: 06/23/09
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    This is fabulous!! Why would anyone rate this other than 5? I made it as described (except messed up and only put 1/2 Tbsp. tomato paste); this dish is wonderful and makes a lot. The hot Italian turkey sausage makes it. The dish is like a lighter lasagna. My husband loves me even more for it!

  • GatewayCook Posted: 02/04/11
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    Just Blah...it was easy...I had all the ingredients on hand...it was simple...it was boring...and kind of dry. I guess I would have cut the pasta in half and the rest would have worked well. Sorry.

  • njk1979 Posted: 01/20/10
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    Delicious! Leftovers even better. Made mostly as instructed using cavatappi, an additional clove of garlic, some extra chili flake (as we like it spiced up), a palm of italian seasoning, and a 28 oz. can of whole san marzanos with basil. Not dry at all. Served with a green side salad. Perfect weeknight meal. Will definitely make again.

  • Melissa79 Posted: 01/28/09
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    Filling and tasty. My husband loved it and it's easy and cheap to make. Seems like it would be great for kids too. Serve with a salad on the side and you get all the major food groups into a simple meal. I will be making this again!

  • CAgirlinIA Posted: 01/24/11
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    This is exceptional for so little effort and ingredients - husband LOVED it and s aid it is a keeper. Confession: I did use REAL Italian sausage as I used what I had on hand. The only other change I made was adding about 1/2 teas. hot pepper flakes to the simmer, instead of fresh basil I used about 1/4 C. homemade/frozen pesto and in lieu of canned tomatoes, I used about 4 cups frozen garden tomatoes. I think this would be a great dish for company or a potluck. YUM!

  • SummerGirl80 Posted: 01/27/09
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    I made this the other night for my husband. We both enjoyed it. Instead of just using hot sausage I also used sweet turkey sausage also. My only complaint it that even with left-overs there is still too much. I would probably cut the recipe in half next time. Also very kid-friendly.

  • jesschyno1 Posted: 09/08/09
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    Delicious the first time around, and only gets better as leftovers!

  • ChiefKaren Posted: 02/12/09
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    Great recipe! I used whole wheat pasta to make it a little healthier.

  • cheddar Posted: 04/02/10
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    This recipe is a favorite of our family. Followed recipe, using whole wheat pasta. This is so flavorful, would also be good without the cheese, for lower fat. Quick and easy, travels easily, reheats well. Served with salad and and ciabatta bread. Wonderful.

  • vrexei Posted: 03/15/09
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    I really liked the flavors in this recipe but didn't think the sauce to pasta ratio was good enough. Next time I will use half the amount of pasta and the same amount of sausage and tomatoes. My husband wanted more cheese. I would also add more basil. Served this at a dinner party with a green salad, fruit salad, loaf of French w/butter, and wine, of course!

  • EmmyR1 Posted: 03/11/09
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    This was incredibly easy to make and really fun to make changes to. I added in zucchini and spinach which really added to the flavor.

  • laebrown Posted: 05/03/09
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    This is a solid, dependably delicious recipe. It's too easy to screw up, it's fast (you can make the sauce/ boil the pasta in the same time), and it's a comfort food that I don't have to feel guilty about eating. I liked the spiciness of the sausage, but could have easily gone with basic Italian. I threw in some extra garlic and used a basil paste, and it was excellent! Bon appetit! :D

  • theredfantastic Posted: 04/13/09
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    I was shocked at how well this turned out, being so simple! The fresh basil makes this dish, I doubled the amount called for in the recipe because I love it. I also added about a teaspoon of some italian seasoning I had since I thought the sauce was going to be bland just looking at it and tasting it. I think that really helped.

  • Allie624 Posted: 10/08/09
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    This is one of my husband's favorite meals! It's quick and easy to put together and make. I added green peppers and more chopped onions. I also added a little spaghetti sauce instead of tomato paste. Cook uncovered for lots of crusty, cheesy noodles! PS - the fresh basil makes the dish!

  • EPMaxwell Posted: 06/23/09
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    This is delicious. I served it with some roasted zucchini and a roll. Very easy to assemble and got rave reveiws from my husband. Would definitely be a crowd pleaser. (I couldn't find hot turkey sausage, so I used Sweet.)

  • cataloger Posted: 05/18/09
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    I wasn't blown away by this dish. It was just so-so. The flavors were a little bland, and it didn't have the creamy richness that baked pasta dishes usually have. I made it exactly as written. My family agreed that it was OK, but not permanent recipe box material.

  • Redfilly2009 Posted: 05/12/09
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    A great casserole dish! I love taking the leftovers to work. This is one of our favorite meals!

  • SriniMTN Posted: 05/08/09
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    This recipe is a great tasting dish as long as you ignore the recipe's suggestion to ommit salt while cooking the pasta.

  • Meesha76 Posted: 08/16/09
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    Awesome! The fresh mozzarella really makes this dish.

  • Katieann77 Posted: 10/12/09
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    This is a family favorite - even my 2-year-old loves it. I like it a little saucier, so I use a whole can of tomato paste and add about 1/2 C chicken stock. I also use 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes and reduced fat mozzarella. We love it!

  • fittaraw Posted: 11/03/09
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    This was a really excellent pasta recipe, as well as being quick and easy to make. I like more sauce, so added another 14 oz can of tomatoes. Very easy to double and share or freeze the extras.

  • rmiller415 Posted: 01/20/10
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    This was great! Couldn't find hot turkey sausage, so I used jennie-0 sweet and added a bunch of red pepper flakes. I would like there to be just a little more tomato sauce and a little less pasta, so I will probably adjust next time, but overall a wonderful dish with great flavor!

  • olst0013 Posted: 08/23/09
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    Was Yum! I followed a mix of some of the reviews prior - i added probably half the can of tomato paste, some italian seasoning, extra garlic, and used a fresh tomato instead of one of the cans of tomoatoes. Was delish!

  • girlincognito Posted: 01/18/10
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    This recipe is awesome. When we aren't sure of what to make, this is often a go-to. Easy and delicious! No kids here, but I am sure they would be a fan of this dish, also. Yum!

  • manders01 Posted: 01/16/10
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    I am amazed at how wonderful this dish tastes for such a simple recipe. So good and fairly quick. I will make this whenever I want a low calorie, high flavor pasta dish. I couldn't help but grab a couple more bites when I was putting it away after dinner. However, I thought the 8 servings would be way too big of portions. I cut mine into 9 but really should have done 10.

  • BMcHenry Posted: 11/10/09
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    I was looking for a good recipe to make ahead and freeze and thought I try this since I (somehow!) had everything on hand. It was soooo yummy! I used a sweet basil sausage along with a 1/4 pound of hamburger and i also used small penne noodles. I find the regular size penne noodles too be too dry when baked. The small ones work perfectly. I made a big batch, cooked one for dinner and put another in the freezer!! yummo!

  • KDesroc Posted: 03/02/10
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    My family of 7 loved this. I used Sweet Italian Chicken Sausage instead of what is listed. We have had it using the 2 cans of the diced tomatoes w/chiles -it was too spicy for my younger ones. I also made it with 1 can of the tomotoes w/chiles and substituted the other can with diced tomatoes. It is a great meal! The fresh mozzarella and basil are fantastic in it as well.

  • JIMMIC Posted: 12/03/10
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    This is a great dish. Served with a Spring Mix salad with goat cheese, walnuts, and Granny-Smith Apple slices with a raspberry balsamic vinegar.

  • GeorgeNC Posted: 01/19/10
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    I made this dish last night. It was very good but I did make a few changes. I used sweet Italian sausage. Buffalo Mozzarella, Padano parmesan. For true taste 2tsp balsamic vinegar and 1 tsp sugar just before combining. For a kick I used crushed red pepper to taste about 2 tsp. Served this with baby green salad with oil and vinegar also with warm ciabatta bread with garlic olive oil.

  • amazinggrace01 Posted: 03/24/10
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    I thought this was a good solid recipe but the flavors were common and everyday in my opinion. The ingredients are easily found and it's easy to make. But the recipe didn't blow me out of the water. Nothing special about this recipe would want me to make it for guests.

  • Jaymie Posted: 03/14/11
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    This is my go-to comfort food recipe. Have made it lots of times - my husband really likes it and the leftovers are great. Super easy to make - has to cook a while so a bit challenging for a week night meal but I have actually assembled it the night before and kept in the fridge to cook the following night and it worked great. I used a shredded Italian four-cheese blend (mozz, parm, asiago and another that I can't remember) and it was wonderful.

  • ohiogirlof6 Posted: 10/06/10
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    This is a new favorite in our home. I did zing it up some by adding a heaping teaspoon of crushed red pepper and twice the garlic. I also added an extra can of diced tomatoes. But I wouldn't say it's a perfect dish for busy weeknights unless you prepped it the day before. It is a flavorful, tasty meal and it makes great leftovers.

  • flipyouforit Posted: 11/01/10
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    This was absolutely delicious, and I'll make it again, for sure, but I definitely wouldn't describe it as a recipe for a busy weeknight. Not sure why (maybe because I have a tiny kitchen and I was making this for the first time), but from start to finish this took more than an hour. But it got the thumbs up from both my husband and I. I would make this for company or for a special occasion. Served it with garlic bread and a green salad.

  • jessicalosesit Posted: 02/07/11
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    Changed the sausage out for 1# of ground beef and also added 1# of cut up grilled chicken...aslo added a little chopped green peppers...I made 4 casseroles this day and my husbands favorite by far was this recipe just changed up a bit on the ingredients. Thank you!

  • sjc9898 Posted: 03/28/11
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    Loved it! I cooked it for my dad and brother and they went crazy over it! I added more onions and more garlic salt. Delicious!

  • sethanrose Posted: 06/21/11
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    I great light pasta dish!!!

  • anlinker Posted: 06/28/11
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    A kid-friendly recipe! Yum!

  • NanetteJG Posted: 07/20/11
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    I have a family of 6, and everyone loves this recipe, my husband calls it pizza pasta. The recipe makes a ton, but that's great for our family, I love the leftovers for lunch, the pasta absorbes the extra sauce, and it's even better the next day. Make sure to use a good brand of sausage, here in Seattle we have the most fabulous chicken sausage, Insernio's, it's too die for.

  • Karen64 Posted: 12/13/11
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    I made this just like the receipe stated and this was very good. I took the leftovers for lunch the next day and it was just as good!

  • ErinBarthel Posted: 01/03/12
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    awesome and easy!

  • Ketamom Posted: 12/22/11
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    Delicious! Everyone went back for seconds. Made it just as the recipe says but added some dried oregano too. Great flavors - will definitely make this one again. Not really worthy for entertaining - which is the reason for four rather than five stars.

  • daneanp Posted: 11/12/11
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    This recipe has potential. I used spicy Italian chicken as my market did not carry the turkey. I thought the sauce was a bit thin, I'll use more tomato paste and would use a different pasta as the ziti seemed too large; maybe a rotini next time. The family liked it and it was very filling served along side a tossed green salad. It does take about an hour from start to finish so not great for a weeknight dinner. Great leftovers the next day.

  • marrsgirl Posted: 01/03/12
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    With the addition of a can of tomato sauce, this is a good go-to recipe for something quick and easy that the whole family enjoys. Without that extra can of sauce, the recipe is too dry. This freezes beautifully so I always double it and stick the extra pan in the freezer for a quick meal later on.

  • jayessgee Posted: 01/16/12
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    This is a perfect dish for family or friends. It's quick and simple to make, tastes twice as good the next day (if there're any leftovers) and is low cost. I use whole wheat or multi grain pasta and I add grated asiago cheese to the parmesan. Everyone loves it, from the serious foodies to the children.

  • MeghanWelsh Posted: 01/21/12
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    Easy and flavorful. We substituted the ziti with whole grain penne. We really enjoyed this.

  • crysmys Posted: 02/27/12
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    Yum. Used whole grain pasta and extra garlic, but otherwise cooked as written. It's not a 'saucy' pasta, but it's very good and very flavorful. Definitely one for the 'keeper' file.

  • Hannah3 Posted: 04/03/12
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    This meal was excellent. The Italian sausage added a tasty lift to the recipe. I used whole wheat penne pasta instead of ziti. Kids loved this dish and asked for seconds. Can't go wrong with that.

  • JasonBurn Posted: 02/18/12
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    We were out of ziti, so made it with rotini. Excellent! Glenn wanted to eat it before it was even baked.

  • NEglmm Posted: 04/08/13
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    Denton , NE

    A good basic recipe which is easy to put together.

  • michca2112 Posted: 02/06/13
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    This recipe is really tasty and very easy to make. The nice thing is that it is also a great basic recipe that can be customized to everyone's taste. Personally I add in extra tomato, crushed by hand for more texture and I use Barilla Plus pasta, which bakes well. Plus ground beef and red wine work well in this recipe, ricotta cheese and so many other tasty things! Thanks, Cooking Light! :)

  • KDesrochers1 Posted: 11/17/12
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    This is one of my favorite pasta bakes. It does make a large amount - which is great for leftovers. The only changes I make is adding one additional 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes so that it stays moist when baking and using whole grain pasta.

  • sweethearttx Posted: 03/12/12
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    Made it with whole grain penne. Fantastic! Loved it. Will be making again and again. My significant other, who is very picky and a total meat eater, loved this dish. He wanted to take some to work for lunch AND have it for dinner the next day too! That's a winner to me. I'm very health conscious and I loved it as well. I did 3 links of mild chicken sausage to 1 link of hot. This was the perfect amount of spice for us. Note: It makes a TON of food!

  • jmeleeS Posted: 04/09/13
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    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!

  • Coconutmuffn Posted: 05/21/13
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    This is a weekly staple in my house. The only changes I've made is to double the garlic and I use whole wheat rigatoni.

  • Kellilee Posted: 06/29/13
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    I rarely make the same recipe twice. This recipe, however, is so easy to make and yummy that I've made it dozens of times. It's a simple dinner that serves many and the leftovers are delicious.

  • elinor3 Posted: 09/04/13
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    This was very good. Since it's just the two of us, I cut the recipe in half. Even though the flavor was great, I think it could've used a little more sauce, for our tastes. I would definitely make it again!

  • Tonialee Posted: 10/06/13
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    Can't wait to eat. Cooking it now.

  • AnnetteJ2201 Posted: 06/25/13
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    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.

  • Meshell128 Posted: 07/30/13
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    A little bland. If I make again I would need to add something to the recipe maybe sun dried tomatoes instead to add some flavor.

  • krazykate61682 Posted: 04/29/14
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    For a relatively simple dish - this recipe was the JAM. I put basil in the sauce to simmer and mixed more in and I ALWAYS put in extra garlic but damn - this was really good.

  • crimegirl Posted: 08/03/14
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    We love this at our house. I add extra garlic and use tomatoes spiced with basil and oregano. If I'm serving a big Sunday dinner I add a side Cesar salad and some garlic bread.

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