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Have a taste for Italian but want something a little out of the ordinary? Artichoke hearts and mild Italian sausage give this dish some zing while pleasing even the most delicate palates. My guests always want seconds AND the recipe!
- 1 lb mild Italian sausage (approx. 4-5 links)
- 1 lb mostaccioli pasta (penne) or 1 lb rigatoni pasta
- 1 (16 ounce) jarof prepared spaghetti sauce (see Cook's note)
- 1 (14 1/2 ounce) can Italian-style diced tomatoes
- 2 cups cottage cheese
- 2 (6 ounce) jars marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- 1⁄4 cup parsley
- 1 tablespoon seasoning salt (to taste)
- 2 teaspoons ground black pepper (to taste)
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 large egg, slightly beaten
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Heat oil in skillet.
- Brown sausage links. (No need to remove casing.).
- While sausage is browning, cook pasta for 10 minutes or until al dente.
- Once browned, slice sausage links into 1/4" slices. Set aside.
- In large mixing bowl, combine cottage cheese, Parmesan cheese, 1 cup Mozarella cheese, egg, salt, pepper and parsley. Mix well. Refrigerate but keep handy.
- Butter/grease 9"x13" baking dish.
- Spread 1/2 jar of spaghetti sauce in bottom of baking dish.
- Add 1/2 can tomatoes on top of sauce and spread evenly.
- Drain and chop artichoke hearts. Set aside.
- Combine sausage, cheese mixture and chopped artichoke hearts in a large mixing bowl. Add cooked pasta. Note: Best if done while pasta is hot.).
- Fold mixture into baking dish and spread evenly over sauce/tomato mixture.
- Empty remaining tomatoes into dish and spread evenly over pasta mixture.
- Drizzle remaining spaghetti sauce over pasta mixture.
- Top with 1 cup Mozarella cheese.
- Cook uncovered for one hour or until heated through.
- Cook's Note: If you want a moister casserole, increase spaghetti sauce to 1 1/2 jars (spread one full jar on bottom of baking dish and drizzle 1/2 jar).