So, we had my mom and sister in town for Easter (two weekends ago), and made a “Baked Pasta with Spicy Tomato and Sausage Sauce.” It’s from a cookbook the Mrs. got a year or two ago called Seriously Simple (I think they sold it at Anthropologie?).
It’s a pretty simple recipe and starts off by browning some Italian Sausage in a Dutch oven (or trusty Le Creuset). The recipe said to keep on cookin’ with the rendered sausage fat (flavor!), but I went ahead and drained it. Looking back, I’m thinking this would have been tastier with the grease. I mean, if I was gonna eat an Italian Sausage on a bun, I wouldn’t drain it first, right?
After you brown the sausage, you basically add Onion, Garlic, Pesto and Marinara sauce and simmer for 20 minutes or so. Then you throw in baby spinach, cooked Penne/Rigatoni, and diced Mozzarella or Smoked Gouda cheese (next time I’d shred it). Have any of you (ones of readers) ever bought Smoked Gouda cheese?? It smells like Summer Sausage which is AWESOME!!
You top it with Parmigiano/Reggiano and throw it in the oven at 375 for 30 minutes or so. This recipe makes a ton of food, so we ended up freezing a smaller (loaf pan) portion for us later.