Monday, January 17, 2011

Baked Penne with Sausage and Tomato Pesto Sauce


The wonderful flavors of Italy have been wafting out of my kitchen the past few days.  It's cold outside and that means "stick-to-your-ribs" dining at our house.  We had some friends over for dinner on Friday and I decided to do one of our favorite baked pasta dishes.  

The beauty of this dish, besides the fact that it delicious, is that it can be put together a day ahead, refrigerated and baked just before serving.  It gives one time to concentrate on preparing an appetizer (in this instance I did an antipasti tray) as well as relaxing a bit before the guests arrive.

The recipe says it serves 6.  The first time I made the dish, we were having a total of eight for dinner.  Never wanting to run low on food, I doubled the recipe.  I soon realized that I'd made enough to feed a lot of people for a long time.  Unless you are feeding lumberjacks, this recipe (not doubled) will feed 10 to 12 quite amply,



Pasta with Italian Sausage and Tomato Pesto Sauce from Seriously Simple and From a Writer's Kitchen

Sauce:

1 pound italian sausage, casings removed
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 26-ounce bottles of marinara sauce
6 tbsp basil pesto
Salt and Pepper to taste

Heat a large, heavy pot over medium high heat and add the sausage, breaking it up with a spatula.  Saute until no pinkness remains--about 5 minutes.  Add the onion, stirring frequently for another five minutes.  Stir in the minced garlic and cook an additional one minute.  Add the marinara sauce and reduce the heat medium.  Simmer until the sauce begins to thicken, about fifteen minutes.  Stir in the pesto, salt and pepper.  

Pasta:

1 pound penne pasta, cooked a couple minutes less than package directions as the pasta will continue to cook when the dish is baked.

Additions:

8 ounces of smoked Gouda, finely diced
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 six ounce bag baby spinach leaves

In a large bowl, combine the pasta with all but one cup of the sauce, the diced Gouda, 1/3 cup of the Parmesan and the spinach leaves.  Combine well.

Oil a 9 x 13 baking dish and spread the remaining one cup of sauce over the bottom.  Spoon the pasta mixture into the baking dish and top with the remaining 2/3 cup of Parmesan.

Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes or until bubbly.

This dish can be prepared the day before and refrigerated.  Bring to room temperature before baking.

ENJOY!

28 comments:

  1. I love baked pasta!!

    Do you that all over the world today is PESTO day???? that's why they want to celebrate this famous sauce recipe!!!!

    HAve a nice day, hugs, Flavia

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  2. I love dishes you can make ahead for company! This one sounds delcious. Thank you, Bonnie. Have a wonderful day. Hugs ~ Tanna

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  3. I do love a recipe I can prepare ahead of time is this one fits the bill. That basil floating around the pasta is just beautiful. I have done that too; double a recipe, Sometimes it seen that pasta just multiplies itself; thank you for this keeper.

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  4. I have all of the ingredients available including spinach and have been looking for something to make this week.

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  5. Perfect timing, Bonnie. I've been craving pasta and this yummy dish will be perfect for a mid-week meal. I love recipes that can be made ahead. All this needs is a nice salad and I'll be set.

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  6. What a lovely recipe. Great photos also. Thanks, Bonnie.

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  7. looks good enough to eat.. ha ha..I think i smell it now

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  8. Gouda, sausage, pesto, AND tomatoes?! Seriously, nothing else could make this any better. It looks delicious!

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  9. ummm, sounds so good. Thanks for the recipe...I LOVE being able to make it the day before.

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  10. Nothing like a good baked pasta to warm the insides of your soul! Carla

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  11. Smoked Gouda and spinach are great additions...Parmesan of course! Love a do-ahead pasta dish like this one, Bonnie. Easy and delicious! How did you resist dumping even more cheese on the top before baking? (I am so bad!)

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  12. I love smoked cheese of any kind! This looks perfect for Super Bowl Sunday!

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  13. this looks so delicious and homely, I too love a baked pasta dish, like you say it's so simple but satisfying... thanks for the recipe x

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  14. How perfect! It is hard to beat fast, easy and make ahead when delicious is at the top of the list. This really sounds great, Bonnie. Have a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

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  15. This is so convinient especially if you have people over lunch or dinner. You can make it ahead and just concentrate on all the other preparations. It looks so yummy.

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  16. I always end up making more food than I need. I guess it is better to have leftovers than not enough to eat! This looks like such a hearty and delicious winter meal. Thank you for sharing it with me! I'm hungry now...it must be time for lunch. Have a great Monday!

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  17. Did someone mention a prep the day before? I'm all for that. Yes, tasty baked pasta like your recipe is the perfect selection.

    Where I lose control of portion sizing would be with soups and tomato sauce. In a way, I really don't mind...more leftovers and a little relaxation on the side too ;o)

    Have a great day and flavourful wishes,
    Claudia

    P.S. Bonnie, I responded to your question on my blog ;)

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  18. YUM, Bonnie.. That baked penne with sausage and tomato pesto sauce sounds WONDERFUL.... Thanks so much for sharing.
    Hugs,
    Betsy

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  19. This looks marvelous!!! I betcha I could double the recipe and the Strongbacks (farm hands) could lick the platter clean. I swear, they're a bottomless pit when bein' fed! Heeehehehe!

    God bless ya and have a fantastic week sweetie!!!

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  20. I absolutely love dishes that can easily feed a crowd, when doubled or tripled :-) I love this dish even more because it can be served up family style and it is such a comforting meal. Love it!!!

    Stay warm.
    Velva

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  21. Yum! I love penne dishes, and this looks luscious! Unusual, too.

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  22. Gosh you're getting a lot of followers! Cool!

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  23. Not the best post to read while I am starving.

    It looks and sounds delicious!

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  24. You had me at PASTA!!! One of my fave food groups. Looks delish.

    Melinda

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  25. You had me at PASTA!!! One of my fave food groups. Looks delish.

    Melinda

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  26. Once again, my mouth is watering. It sounds perfectly delicious --

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  27. We had company over Thanksgiving week and I made baked penne and did the same thing you did. I didn't want to run short, and in the end I had enough pasta for the entire neighborhood! It's so good though, I didn't mind eating it again and again :)

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  28. mmm, this is right up my alley!

    I like the basil pesto in this. I think I'll give it a try but cut it in half. sounds great!

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