Sunday, November 15, 2009

Cheesy Penne Bake

I am finally mostly recovered from the bug that hit me last week.  I haven't been cooking, taking pictures, or blogging.  Today is the first day since probably Monday that I didn't have a nap.

I found a new addiction - My Kitchen Addiction. Tonight, we had her Cheesy Penne Bake.  It was really quite good - even Kathryn said she liked it! When a My Kitchen Addiction recipe calls for a large baking dish, she means it.  I ended up using another 8 ounces of colby jack.  Next time, I will double the mozzerella if not triple it since I also won't be using the ricotta.  We aren't really fans of ricotta cheese around here.

Cheesy Penne Bake (Printer Friendly Version)
+ 14.5 ounce box of multi-grain penne
+ 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
+ 1 pound sweet Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
+ 1 yellow onion, diced
+ 2 cloves garlic, minced
+ 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
+ 14 ounce can tomato sauce
+ 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
+ 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
+ Kosher salt
+ 8 ounces part-skim ricotta cheese
+ 8 ounces part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
+ 2 ounces parmigiano-reggiano cheese, grated

    Prepare the pasta according to the package directions.  Drain and set aside.  Preheat the oven to 375°F.
    Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the sausage and brown in the oil.  Once the sausage is cooked, add the onion and garlic.  Saute with the browned sausage until the onion is soft (about 4-5 minutes).  Add the crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce to the pan.  Season with the basil, thyme, and some salt (to taste).  Stir to combine all of the ingredients, reduce the heat, and simmer for 10 minutes.  Remove from the heat.

    Prepare a large baking dish with cooking spray. Coat the bottom of the dish with one cup of the meat sauce.  Add one third of the pasta and top with one third of the remaining sauce.  Spoon half of the ricotta cheese over the pasta and sauce.  Sprinkle with one third of the mozzarella and parmigiano-reggiano cheese.  Repeat the layers of pasta, sauce, and cheeses. Top the cheese layer with the remaining pasta and sauce.  Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella and parmigiano-reggiano cheese on the top of the pasta and sauce.

    Bake the casserole for 30 minutes until all of the cheese is bubbly and has melted. The top should be golden.

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