it seems like everyone has their own version of this favorite. i really love baked pasta so i thought i'd bake mine. hubby gave it a good strong 9 so it was a hit at our house!
creamy baked penne with sausage, red peppers and asparagus
8 ounces cooked penne pasta
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped (don't pay more than 88c ish for it!)
1 heaping teaspoon chopped garlic
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces (mine was short of a pound i think) (don't forget you can use a few cups of chopped spinach here instead!)
salt and pepper
1/3 lb spicy sausage (spicy really is good here, but if you don't want it spicy, use what you like. and chicken sausage would be awesome! we just used leftovers from a work party!)
3/4 cup chicken broth
1 14 oz can crushed tomatoes (diced would be fine too, i was out!)
3/4 cup low fat ricotta cheese
1 cup part skim mozzarella cheese
a few handfuls of parmesan cheese
1. cook and drain your pasta! :)
2. heat a few teaspoons of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. add onion and bell pepper and cook until onion is translucent. add garlic. cook 1 minute, stirring. add sausage (if your sausage is raw i'd add it with the onions and peppers). heat 1-2 minutes.
3. add broth and tomatoes. bring to a boil. reduce to simmer until sauce begins to reduce. add asparagus (or spinach) and cover, letting asparagus get just crisp tender and letting sauce finish reducing, about 5 minutes (but watch closely - don't over cook your asparagus!).
4. stir in ricotta until melted (this makes a creamy sauce without having to use heavy cream)
5. stir in cooked pasta. mix well. pour into 13x9 baking dish. sprinkle evenly with mozzarella and parmesan. bake at 350 until cheese passes gooey and starts to get crispy - about 20-25 minutes.
6. serve immediately and don't bet on leftovers the next day. :)