Spicy Sausage Penne Pasta with Sundried Tomatoes

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!!

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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!!

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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.

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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.

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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!!

Recipe:

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

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Live well my friends!!

 

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