Cook1 hr 15 mins
I made this very nice recipe for my aunt and myself from the Williams-Sonoma "Chicken" cookbook and we enjoyed it very much. I cheated and used stewed tomatoes because I was in a hurry and this seemed to work fine.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 lb chicken sausage, casings removed (can also use turkey sausage)
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1⁄4 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
- 1 (28 ounce) can tomatoes in puree, tomatoes coarsely chopped and puree reserved
- 1 cup water
- salt, to taste
- 1 lb penne (or other tube shaped pasta)
- 2 cups ricotta cheese
- 2 cups Fontina cheese, shredded (can also use mozzarella)
- 1⁄2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- In a large Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until golden, about 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
- Add the sausage and cook, breaking it up into bite-sized pieces with the side of a spoon, until the sausage loses its pink color, about 6 minutes.
- Stir in the basil, oregano, and red pepper flakes.
- Add the tomatoes with their puree and the water and bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 30 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F Lightly oil a shallow 3-quart (3-l) baking dish.
- Bring a large pot three-fourths full of water to a boil. Salt the water, add the pasta, stir well, and cook until barely al dente, about 10-12 minutes. Do not overcook. Drain well.
- In a large bowl, toss the pasta with the sauce, ricotta, and fontina cheese. Spread in the prepared baking dish and sprinkle with the Parmesan.
- Bake until the cheeses are melted and the tips of the pasta are crusty, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let stand for 5 minutes.
- Serve hot.
This is a very tasty and lower fat way to prepare baked pasta. My entire family enjoyed it. The only thing I would do differently is to add less cooked noodles because I like my pasta dishes really saucy...maybe 1/2 to 3/4 of a pound. That is a personal preference though.