Saturday, September 10, 2016

Tomato, Mozzarella & Sausage Baked Pasta Recipe

This recipe is adapted from a Fine Cooking recipe - I tend to find their recipes have too many steps for quick evening meal and I like my baked pasta's broken down into bowl steps like a lasagna.  It's just easier for me to do one bowl/pot, walk away and come back in an hour - such is the life with small ones and a work from home job, I have to work in spurts.  I've changed the ingredients to make it easier to work with items I'm more likely to have in my kitchen liked dried herbs - I just can't seem to make good use of fresh herbs in time, I'd say if you want fresh herbs, check out the FC link above.

Sauce
  • 35oz whole tomatoes with juice (or one quart of canned tomatoes)
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 t oregano dried spice
  • 1 t parsley dried spice
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 t pepper
Place peeled garlic and onion into food process and dice small, then place them into a skillet with a little olive oil and cook at low temperature for 10 minutes.

Place onion and garlic mixture into medium sauce pan with the tomatoes and spices.  Cook on low temperature for 1-2 hours.



Meat
  • 12oz Italian Sausage
The sausage should be removed from casings (it can be bought without casings) and cooked at medium temperature until browned.  It should be drained of all grease and it can be then cooked in the tomato sauce or simply added to the pasta right before baking.

Noodles
  • 1 bag Egg Noodles or 1 box Ziti
About 45 minutes before you are ready to eat, start a pot of water for the noodles and cook per directions on the packaging.

Cheese
  • 1 cup Ricotta 
  • 1 cup Parmesan Cheese (I use the grated can version)
  • 1 egg
While noodles are cooking, stir all cheese ingredients in a small bowl.

Topping:
  • Mozzarella Cheese 8oz grated
Preparation:
Set oven temperature to 375.  Once noodles are finished cooking, drain the water and place noodles into a large pot for oven baking.  Add sauce and stir evenly throughout noodles.  Add the meat and mix evenly.  Then add the cheese sauce in large lump segments and stir into the noodles.  Add half the mozzarella cheese and stir evenly, then add remaining mozzarella cheese to the top.  

Bake in oven for 30 minutes.  

In summary, my brain just works better for recipes that are broken down into steps.  I do love the original Fine Cooking recipe, but I find it's harder to work on a recipe from beginning to end without a break and to make sure I've got the more specialty ingredients on hand.  So this is my quick version and I hope you will enjoy it as much as we do!  



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