Main Dish · Pasta

Baked Penne Casserole

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So you’ve made a pot of Homemade Marinara Sauce. Now what? I almost always make Baked Penne Casserole as soon as I have a fresh pot of Marinarra. This is such an easy, quick dish to throw together, and it’s quite delicious.  It freezes really well, too, so I always use two 8″ x 8″ dishes & pop one in the freezer for another night. Each dish will feed two to three people for dinner, with (depending on the diners’ appetites) some left over for lunch. If you’re cooking for a crowd, you could use a single larger dish. I like a little zip in my food, but you can tone it down if you want by using sweet Italian sausage instead of the hot. A printer-friendly version of the recipe is at the bottom of the page.

Ingredients:

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1 lb. loose hot Italian sausage (buy it that way, or remove casings)

1 (16-oz.) box penne pasta

5 cups Marinara sauce

¼ tsp Tabasco sauce

¼ tsp salt

2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese, divided

½ cup shredded Asiago cheese, divided

Preparation:

1.) Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly oil 2 (8″ x 8″) glass baking dishes.

2.) Cook the sausage in a large nonstick skillet on medium high. Stir frequently, breaking up any lumps as you go. ( I got this ground-meat-breaker-upper at a Pampered Chef party years ago. I don’t use it frequently, but when I do it’s indispensable.) Cook until sausage is thoroughly cooked and nicely browned. Scrape up any browned bits, using a tiny amount of water if you must. Remove sausage to a plate lined with a couple of layers of paper towel to drain. Pour any pan juices into a large bowl & set aside.

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3.) Add Marinara, Tabasco, and salt to pan juices in the bowl, and stir. Stir in 1 cup Mozzarella, ¼ cup Asiago, and the sausage.

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4.) Cook the pasta according to the package instructions, cooking about 2 minutes less than the box says for “al dente”. Drain. Add to the bowl & mix well.

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5.) Divide the mixture between the 2 baking dishes. Sprinkle evenly with remaining cheeses. Cover one, label it, and freeze for later use. Cover the other with foil, and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil, and bake for another 15 minutes or until cheese is melted, bubbly, & starting to brown. Remove from oven; let the casserole rest for 5 minutes before serving.

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Adapted from Cooking Light.

Baked Penne Casserole


Ingredients


1 lb. loose hot Italian sausage (buy it that way, or remove casings)
1 (16-oz.) box penne pasta
5 cups Marinara sauce
¼ tsp Tabasco sauce
¼ tsp salt
2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese, divided
½ cup shredded Asiago cheese, divided

Directions


1.) Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly oil 2 (8″ x 8″) glass baking dishes.
2.) Cook the sausage in a large nonstick skillet on medium high. Stir frequently, breaking up any lumps as you go. ( I got this ground-meat-breaker-upper at a Pampered Chef party years ago. I don’t use it frequently, but when I do it’s indispensable.) Cook until sausage is thoroughly cooked and nicely browned. Scrape up any browned bits, using a tiny amount of water if you must. Remove sausage to a plate lined with a couple of layers of paper towel to drain. Pour any pan juices into a large bowl & set aside.
3.) Add Marinara, Tabasco, and salt to pan juices in the bowl, & stir. Stir in 1 cup Mozzarella, ¼ cup Asiago, and the sausage.
4.) Cook pasta according to package instructions, cooking about 2 minutes less than the box says for “al dente”. Drain. Add to the bowl & mix well.
5.) Divide the mixture between the 2 baking dishes. Sprinkle evenly with remaining cheeses. Cover one, label it, and freeze for later use. Cover the other with foil, and bake for 15 minutes. Remove foil; bake another 15 minutes or until cheese is melted, bubbly, & starting to brown. Remove from oven; let the casserole rest for 5 minutes before serving.

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