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Last Christmas (2008) we got snowed in during a ski trip to Vermont. I had just gone shopping, so I was fairly well stocked up. I just started cooking and this is what I came up with. I used purchased spaghetti sauce, I bet it would be even better with homemade. It has a little bit of heat, you could easily use mild sausage and leave out the red pepper flakes. Of course a crusty bread and a salad round out this special meal.
- 1 (16 ounce) package penne pasta, cooked and drained
- 1 lb hot Italian sausage
- 1 lb ground beef
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1⁄2 cup bell pepper, chopped
- 1⁄2 cup onion, chopped
- 1⁄2 cup mushroom, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- 3 pinches red peppers
- 1 (8 ounce) package Italian cheese blend
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese
- 2 (16 ounce) jars spaghetti sauce (or homemade)
- 2 teaspoons basil, dried or 2 tablespoons fresh basil
- 1⁄2 teaspoon italian seasoning
- Remove the casings from the Italian sausage. In a large skillet (non stick) cook the Italian sausage and the ground beef. Break up the meat as it cooks, drain fat. In a very large casserole dish combine the cooked penne and the cooked meat. Using the same skillet, saute the bell pepper, onion, mushrooms and garlic in the olive oil. Add the red pepper flakes.
- Add the sauteed vegetables to the casserole dish, mix well.
- Sprinkle the Italian blend cheese over the top, cut the fresh mozzarella into chunks and evenly distribute in the casserole. Add either fresh or dried basil. Sir. Add both jars of spaghetti sauce - (use a good top quality brand).
- Mix well. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes, or until bubbly hot.