Main Dish Meat Pasta

Sausage Penne Bake

Well I might not have many recipes this week.  Apparently, all the books I requested just came into the library all at once.  Here is the list I have:

King Arthur Flour’s Book of Baking All Purpose and the Whole Grain version.  I’m really looking forward to making whole grain versions of every day items and trying the 100% whole wheat sandwich bread.  I’ve put it off b/c it requires potato flakes, OJ and nonfat dry milk all of which I rarely have on hand.
-John Hart’s new book Iron House.  I LOVED LOVED LOVED his first novels.  I found out about him because I wanted something good to read and started with the Edgar Award winners.  He won.  TWICE!
One Yard Fabric Wonders – projects with 1 yard of fabric required
While We’re Far Apart:  this is our book of the month for my club
Bringing Up Bebe:  how the French are so much better at parenting than we are…. not sure if I’ll love or hate this one.
Heart Healthy Miracle Diet:  Pretty much reiterating everything the other nutrition books state (well the non-crazy ones).  I don’t think my love of Costco’s all natural vanilla ice cream will fit in there….

Here is the Recipe….

Why I loved this dish:

1.  It has sausage in it – YUM!
2.  It was easy to double and freeze or give to a person who needs a meal.
3.  Tasted great.
4.  Goes with everything – just add a vegetable.  Potlucks, pasta night, meat night, etc.
5.  I have most of the ingredients on hand.
6.  It reheated well.

Sausage Penne Bake
yield 4-6 servings

1 – 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 and 1/2 tsp. olive oil
1 onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and cut into matchstick pieces (yellow pepper also worked well here when I doubled the recipe)
3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes
8 oz. sweet Italian turkey sausage (take out of casing or buy ground; of course you can use regular Sweet Italian Sausage here)
8 oz. whole wheat penne (or regular)
1 cup shredded mozzerella

1.  Preheat oven to 425 with the rack in the middle.
2.  Spray a 8×8 or 9×9 dish with cooking spray.

3.  In food processor, pulse tomatoes about 5 times.  The tomatoes will be mostly smooth with a few chunks.  (I think a blender might work, too?)

4.  In a big skillet, heat the oil on medium heat.  Add your onion and bell pepper.  Cook about 5 minutes or until soft.  Add the garlic and red pepper flakes for another 30 seconds.
5.  Dump in your sausage into the skillet on the veggies and cook until it is brown and not pink – another 5 minutes or so.  Dump in the tomatoes you had in the food processor.   Simmer that until thicker – about 6-8 minutes.  Add salt and pepper.
6.  While the tomato/sausage is simmering, heat up a big pot of water to a boil.  Add the penne pasta and cook until just a little before al dente – remember this stuff is going to cook again in the oven.  Keep 1/4 cup of the cooking water before it goes down the drain to add later.  If you forget and the water goes down the drain – don’t fret!  It won’t ruin the whole meal.
7.   Now combine the cooked pasta with the tomato/sausage.  Put half in the dish.  Sprinkle 1/2 cup of your mozzerella on top.  Put the rest of the pasta/sausage on top.  Add the rest of the cheese.
8.  Bake about 15 minutes.  OR let cool and cover and store in the fridge.  To cook it later, put some foil (sprayed) on top and bake 10 minutes.  Take off the foil and bake another 15 minutes.

Recipe from America’s Test Kitchen “Family Healthy Cookbook”


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