Spicy Sausage Pasta Bake!

24Jun09

My forays into the world of Italian Spicy Sausage are recent, but welcome! I’ve only just begun to experiment with it. I like my pasta to have lots of sauce or topping or whatever on it–I sometimes think of pasta as more like a stir fry ingredient, where it’s just one of many ingredients in a dish. Less like it’s the main attraction with some pretty sauce on top. I think this is a good way to get my craving for pasta (there’s plenty of Italian in my blood, or at least my tastebuds), but not eat a meal made entirely of carbs. Ashamedly, I’ve forgotten where this recipe is originally from, but it’s undergone several tweaks anyway, so here it is:

Spicy Sausage Pasta Bake (enough for lots of leftovers!)
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1.5-2 lbs Spicy Italian Sausage (casings removed)
1 cup diced onion
1-3 cloves of Garlic, smashed and chopped
2 14.5-oz cans Diced Petite Tomatoes, with liquid
3 Tbsp Tomato Paste
A couple shakes of Italian Seasoning
1 box of Pasta
2 cups Cheese (I use Mozz + Parm)
Fresh Basil

Preheat oven to 350. Cook up the pasta! Mmmm look at all those noodley noodles.

Throw the onions in a pan with the oil. Let them get nice and translucent. Then add the garlic and sausage. Crumble the sausage as it browns. When browned, add the tomatoes and the tomato paste, and the Italian seasoning and S&P. Let it all cook through and bubble a bit. When it looks edible, it’s done! (Hey, It’s that easy.)

Layer the pasta, sauce mixture, and cheese, twice, in a big glass dish. (13 x 9? I think.) Then chop up a good handful of fresh basil and throw it on top. See how big mine has grown!! Also, is a 3-leaf basil stem as lucky as a 4-leaf clover?

Anyway, throw the whole thing in the oven for about 20 minutes until the top is nice and cheesy/bubbly. Then serve, eat, package the leftovers, and eat again for lunch the next day!

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