Italian sausage, pepper 'n' pasta bake

5

PREP TIME

8 min

Makes

4 to 6 servings

* PLUS Cooking time: 12 minutes, Baking Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 250 g penne pasta
  • 5 hot or mild Italian sausages
  • olive oil
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1/2 600-g block mozzarella
  • 750-mL jar tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup grated fresh parmesan
  • 1/2 cup storebought dry bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp dried Italian seasoning

Instructions

  • To cook pasta, fill a large saucepan with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Meanwhile, slice sausages into thick rounds. Then lightly coat a large, wide frying pan with oil and set over medium heat. When hot, add sausages. Turn frequently until sausages are browned, 7 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, coarsely chop peppers. Cut mozzarella into small cubes. When sausages are browned, push to side of pan. Add peppers and a little more oil, if needed. Stir often until peppers start to soften, 3 minutes. Then stir in pasta sauce. Using a wooden spoon, scrape up and stir in any brown bits from pan bottom to flavour sauce. Stir often until hot and bubbly, from 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
  • Position oven rack in top third of oven and preheat oven to 450F (230C). Once water boils, add pasta. Boil until almost al dente, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain well, then turn into a 9×13-inch (3-L) baking dish. Stir in sausage mixture and mozzarella. Spread mixture evenly in dish. In a small bowl, stir Parmesan with bread crumbs and Italian seasoning. Sprinkle over pasta. Bake, uncovered, until top is golden, 15 to 20 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. Excellent with a caesar or spinach salad.

Nutrition (per serving)

  • Calories
  • 624,
  • Protein
  • 34.5 g,
  • Carbohydrates
  • 50.5 g,
  • Fat
  • 31.2 g,
  • Fibre
  • 4.4 g,
  • Sodium
  • 1509 mg.

A bowl of this super-cheesy bake is even better than a hug from Nonna ? OK probably not. But it’s pretty close! We particularly liked it made with a fire-roasted pepper and garlic pasta sauce.

Perfect Pasta

For al dente or “firm to the bite” texture, dried pasta takes 7 to 12 minutes to cook. Fresh pasta takes less time, from 1 to 4 minutes. Keep in mind that the boiling water in the pot will cause pasta to continue cooking while being drained.

Flavour Plus

Make sure to use a flavourful pasta sauce. Unless it has a rich herb taste, bump up the flavour with generous pinches of dried oregano and basil leaves. Add hot chili flakes if you like it fiery.