Sausage Pasta Bake

Some weeknights I struggle to find something to make for dinner. Hard to believe, I know, but it happens to me, just like it does to everyone else. I feel like I’m in a rut some days and I just want something different.

I like to sometimes imagine I’m on Chopped and I have to come up with a fabulous meal using the ingredients in my mystery basket: A.k.a: My pantry and refrigerator. I’m not too bad at coming up with a meal on the fly. A lot of times I just throw things together, and they just work. This is how my Sausage Pasta Bake came together.

This Sausage Pasta Bake is another great make-ahead-dish that is not only easy, but it’s delicious. Italian pasta flavors covered in a melted cheesy topping; does it get any better than that? I think not.

sausagepastabake
Ingredients:
1 lb ground sausage
¼ cup onion, chopped
¼ cup roasted red pepper, chopped
1 cup grape tomatoes, cut in half
3 and ½ cups uncooked pasta shells
24 oz jarred red pasta sauce
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp dried basil
2 tbsp vodka (optional)
¼ cup shredded provolone cheese
1 cup mozzarella cheese
Parmesan cheese for serving (optional)

Makes about 6 servings

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Bring enough water to cover pasta to a boil. Cook the pasta until al dente.

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Meanwhile, brown the ground sausage in a separate skillet.

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When the sausage is cooked through, add in the onion, red pepper, and tomatoes. Cook for about 1-2 minutes.

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Add the sauce to the skillet and stir in the spices: garlic powder, parsley, and basil. Stir in the vodka. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes.  The vodka really enhances the tomato flavor.  It also adds a really nice richness.

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When pasta is al dente, drain it and add the pasta to the skillet. Toss to combine and remove from heat.

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Transfer the sausage pasta to a greased baking dish.

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Top with the cheeses. Bake on 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes. Allow to cool and rest for about 5-10 minutes. (If you make this ahead of time and refrigerate before baking, it will probably need to bake for close to 45 minutes.)

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Spoon into bowls and top with grated parmesan cheese.

pastabake

Serve the Sausage Pasta Bake with Garlic Toast and enjoy!


 

sausagebake

Ingredients:
1 lb ground sausage
¼ cup onion, chopped
¼ cup roasted red pepper, chopped
1 cup grape tomatoes, cut in half
3 and ½ cups uncooked pasta shells
24 oz jarred red pasta sauce
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp dried basil
2 tbsp vodka (optional)
¼ cup shredded provolone cheese
1 cup mozzarella cheese
Parmesan cheese for serving (optional)

Makes about 6 servings

Bring enough water to cover pasta to a boil. Cook the pasta until al dente.

Meanwhile, brown the ground sausage in a separate skillet.

When the sausage is cooked through, add in the onion, red pepper, and tomatoes. Cook for about 1-2 minutes.

Add the sauce to the skillet and stir in the spices: garlic powder, parsley, and basil. Stir in the vodka. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes.

When pasta is al dente, drain it and add the pasta to the skillet. Toss to combine and remove from heat.

Transfer the sausage pasta to a greased baking dish.

Top with the cheeses. Bake on 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes. Allow to cool and rest for about 5-10 minutes. (If you make this ahead of time and refrigerate before baking, it will probably need to bake for close to 45 minutes.)

Spoon into bowls and top with grated parmesan cheese.

Serve the Sausage Pasta Bake with Garlic Toast and enjoy!

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