I know I’ve found a good recipe when I make it several times in a month, like this baked pasta with Italian sausage. It really is the perfect combination of simple, inexpensive, and delicious. It’s also easy to make in larger quantities for group gatherings or leftovers.
Cooking this dish with a cast iron skillet is ideal (I love my 12-inch Lodge skillet) – you saute the meat and veggies together, add the sauce, then bake the whole shebang. Plus, anything served in a huge cast iron just feels all rustic and homey. But if you don’t have a cast iron skillet, fear not; you can bake the pasta in a 9×13-inch baking dish.
All of the wonderful flavors come together easily – warm pasta, onions, peppers, sausage, all topped with an lovely layer of mozzarella. Just yum.
Baked Pasta with Italian Sausage
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16 ounces pasta
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 pound Italian sausage
1 onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 tablespoon fresh chopped basil (or 1 teaspoon dried basil)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook pasta according to package instructions until al dente; drain.
Heat oil in a large, deep cast iron skillet. Place sausage, onion, and peppers in skillet and cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Stir in tomatoes and tomato sauce, and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Toss with cooked pasta. Top with an even layer of mozzarella. Sprinkle top with basil.
Bake in oven for 20 minutes, or until cheese is melted.