This is yummy! I prepared it on a Sunday, (but I DID have to sample a little!) wrapped it in foil, popped it in the refrigerator and plan to bake it later in the week. I love making meals ahead of time so that on a busy weeknight all I have to do is heat it up!!
So, give this a try. Make it over the weekend and keep it for later. BUT treat yourself to a little sample first!!!
Now, I have been doing my best to be gluten free for several months now and I still have a lot to learn. This recipe, as far as I know, is gluten free. I used all gluten free products, and I am hoping the hot Italian sausage I purchased is GF too!!
I heated some olive oil in a pot, and in another pot I started the pasta. I used penne because I am planning to bake it later and I think the penne will work best for that. Cook the pasta al dente, DO NOT over cook the pasta!!
I cooked 2 sausage links (or 3 depending on the size and how much meat you want in this dish) over low heat until it was cooked pretty much the whole way through, remove the sausage to a plate. Leaving the remaining olive oil in the pot, add a 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes with the juice, an 8 oz can of tomato sauce and about 3 ozs of tomato paste. Also add a tsp of sugar, 1 tsp of garlic powder, 1 tsp onion powder, crushed red pepper flakes to taste, salt and pepper to taste. I added 2 dashes of ground nutmeg…. YES I sometimes like to add my baking spices too! Try it!!
While the pasta cooks keep the sauce on a very low heat so all the flavors can hook up and get to know each other.
I chopped about 1 tsp of fresh thyme, and grabbed about 6 basil leaves and chopped them too. Next, chop about 1/3 cup of sundried tomatoes. Add the herbs and tomatoes to the sauce just before you are ready to put the pasta in the sauce.
When the pasta is ready add it to the pot of sauce. Stir gently to coat the pasta. Pour half the pasta and sauce into an 8×8 or 9×9 baking dish, add chunks of mozzarella cheese, put on another later of pasta and sauce and dot the top with more mozzarella. Let cool and cover with foil.
Bake at 350 for about 20-25 minutes or until heated through, remove foil the last 5 minutes. When you are ready to serve sprinkle with chopped basil and parmesan cheese. This recipe would feed 2 with very large servings OR 4 smaller servings if you actually think you might want to share…..
I’m telling ya, I think this is the best baked pasta dish I have ever made!! There are LOTS of flavors goin on but it combines into one delicious mouthful of yumminess I have ever tasted!!
2-3 Italian Sausage links
2 cups uncooked Penne Pasta noodles
Olive oil to cook the sausage
14.5 oz can of Diced Tomatoes, use juices too
8 oz can of Tomato Sauce
3 oz Tomato Paste (half of a 6 oz can)
1 tsp Sugar
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1 tsp Onion Powder
Crushed red pepper flakes to taste
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/3 cup Sun Dried Tomatoes, chopped (I use the jarred in oil)
2 dashes of ground nutmeg, optional
1 tsp Fresh Thyme
6 Basil Leaves
1 large ball of Mozzarella cheese cut into chunks
Parmesan cheese and additional basil for serving
Live well my friends!!