Sunday, February 14, 2010

Turkey Sausage Pasta Bake

As this blog may show, I am a sucker for casseroles. I love their comforting nature and I especially love that they make good leftovers. I am always on the lookout for casserole recipes that don't have condensed cream soups, so this recipe from What's Cooking in the Orange Kitchen was perfect for a delicious weeknight meal. I halved this recipe, and this still made several servings for lunches during the week. Since I love turkey sausage, I will definitely be making this one again soon. Since I added a bell pepper, I found it had a lot of the flavors of an Italian sausage, peppers & onion sandwich. Yum!

Turkey Sausage Pasta Bake
1 (1-pound) package uncooked ziti (short tube-shaped pasta)
1 pound hot turkey Italian sausage links
1 cup chopped onion
1 bell pepper, chopped (I added)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste (I used a little more)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 (14.5-ounce) cans petite-diced tomatoes, undrained
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
Cooking spray
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded fresh mozzarella cheese (I used a little more)
1 cup (4 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese (I used a little less)
1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain the pasta, and set aside.
3. Remove casings from sausage. Cook sausage, onion, pepper and garlic in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until browned, stirring to crumble. Add the tomato paste, salt, pepper, and tomatoes, and bring to a boil.
4. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
5. Combine cooked pasta, sausage mixture, and basil. Place half of the pasta mixture in a 4-quart casserole coated with cooking spray. Top with half of mozzarella and half of Parmesan. Repeat layers. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until bubbly.

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