Loaded with gobs of cheese, this Italian sausage penne casserole is so good with the flavor of the hot Italian sausage, mixed with the spices, tomatoes and pasta. A great comfort food the whole family will enjoy. If you’re looking for an easy, hearty dish to serve for a quick family dinner or to make as an easy addition to potlucks and get-togethers, then look no further. This delicious pasta bake has been a staple in my kitchen for years, now, and it’s easy to see why. Read on, and you’ll discover a simple recipe that can satisfy even the biggest eaters without having to spend a ton of time in the kitchen. In fact, this recipe is so easy that you’ll be in and out in no time. That’s why I made it so often when my kids still lived with me. It made an easy family dinner, and the leftovers were great for either dinner the next night, or more likely, being devoured by my kids and their friends after school. No matter the occasion, this one is always a great recipe to make when you need great food in just a little bit of time.
16 oz box Penne pasta
2 lb Hot Italian Sausage, can use sweet or mild Italian
24 oz mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 medium onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
28 oz can diced tomatoes
1½ tsp basil
1½ tsp oregano
Salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 350° and spray a 3 quart casserole dish with a non stick spray. Set aside.
Remove sausage from casing and add to large skillet.
Crumble and cook over medium heat until done.
Drain grease from sausage, reserving 2 tablespoons of grease. Set sausage aside.
Spoon 2 tablespoons of grease back to pan, add chopped onions and garlic and saute until onions are translucent.
Pour diced tomatoes into skillet with the onions and garlic.
Add basil, oregano, salt and pepper.
Cook for about 5 minutes over medium heat.
Add Italian sausage back to skillet and bring to a boil.
Cover and simmer on low for approximately 20 – 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Cook pasta according to package directions for al dente.
Drain, rinse and place pasta back in pan.
Add sausage mixture to pan with pasta.
Add ½ of the mozzarella cheese to the pan and stir well until melted.
Place ½ of the meat and pasta mixture into prepared casserole dish, sprinkle with cheese, add the rest of the meat and pasta, top with remaining cheese, cover with foil bake until cheese is bubbly and heated through, approximately 30 minutes. Can remove foil and bake the cheese a bit more.
Serve with salad and garlic bread.