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baked pasta in a white casserole dish on a gray table
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5 from 6 votes

BAKED PASTA WITH CHICKEN SAUSAGE

Baked Pasta with Chicken Sausage is comforting, bold and delicious
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr 10 mins
0 mins
Total Time1 hr 25 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8
Calories: 606.97kcal
Author: Paige

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken sausage, uncooked, casings removed if any
  • 1 28- ounce Italian style tomatoes, whole, peeled
  • 1 15 ounce tomatoes, diced in their juice
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons Italian (flat leaf) parsley, chopped
  • 2 bay leaf
  • 1 pound penne pasta, dried
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese plus more for serving
  • 8 ounces Havarti cheese, grated

Instructions

  • MAKE THE SAUCE
  • Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil a dutch oven or large non-stick sauce pan, and add the onions with the salt and cook on medium heat stirring occasionally until onions are soft, 5-8 minutes
    Add the garlic and cook for another minute, stirring to make sure the garlic doesn't get brown
    Add the chicken sausage, breaking it up with the back of a wooden spoon until no longer pink, about 4 minutes
    Add the whole peeled tomatoes, gently and carefully crushing the tomatoes with your fingers as you add them to the pan, then add the diced tomatoes and the water, oregano, crushed red pepper flakes, salt and pepper and one tablespoon of the chopped fresh parsley as well as the bay leafs.
    Simmer on medium heat on the stove for 30 minutes, remove bay leafs.
    Prepare the pasta according to the package directions on the box, salting the water with a tablespoon of salt before adding the pasta.
    Remove the pasta from the water a minute before the final cooking time, as you'll want the pasta to be a little bit firm before before baking.
  • MAKE AND BAKE THE PASTA
    Heat oven to 350 degrees
    Drain the cooked pasta from the water, then add it back to the pot you cooked it on.
    Add the chicken sausage mixture, the ricotta cheese, the Parmesan cheese, and another tablespoon of chopped parsley.
    Mix gently to combine everything, then and add to a large casserole dish that you've added a drizzle of olive oil to the bottom of. Casserole dish is 9x13" size.
    Sprinkle the top with Havarti cheese and another tablespoon of Parmesan cheese and the remaining tablespoon of fresh parsley.
    Bake for about 30 minutes until the cheese melts and everything is heated through.
    Drizzle with a little bit of olive oil and Parmesan cheese for serving.

Notes

  • Make the pasta a day ahead if you'd like, and keep it covered in the fridge until ready to use.
  • I always place pasta dishes like this on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper before placing in the oven. (Easier to grab.)
  • Ground turkey or pork sausage instead of chicken sausage is totally fine.
  • Use Monterey Jack cheese instead of Havarti if you can't find it, but it's worth seeking out for its amazing nutty flavor and extra melty consistency.
  • For serving, I like to add another little drizzle of some good quality, fruity olive oil and freshly grated Parmesan cheese right off the block.

Nutrition

Calories: 606.97kcal | Carbohydrates: 60.87g | Protein: 33.13g | Fat: 27.26g | Saturated Fat: 9.91g | Cholesterol: 94.96mg | Sodium: 1801.53mg | Potassium: 661.74mg | Fiber: 5.26g | Sugar: 10.24g | Vitamin A: 1124.13IU | Vitamin C: 19.37mg | Calcium: 316.3mg | Iron: 3.83mg