Pasta Rustica


2 Tbs olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
¾ lb chicken sausage, casings removed
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
¼ tsp hot red pepper flakes
28 oz can tomatoes in purée, tomatoes coarsely chopped and purée reserved
salt to taste
1 lb penne pasta
1¼ cups ricotta cheese
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and cook until golden, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add sausage and cook, breaking it up, until no longer pink, about 6 minutes. Stir in spices. Add tomatoes with purée and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer; stir occasionally until mixture thickens (10-12 minutes).

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray baking dish with nonstick spray.

3. Bring large pot of water to boil over high heat. Salt water and add pasta, stir well and cook until al dente (10-12 minutes). Drain well.

4. In large bowl, toss pasta with sauce, ricotta and mozzarella. Spread into prepared dish and sprinkle with Parmesan. Bake until cheeses are melted and pasta becomes crusty on edges (about 30 minutes).

5. Let stand for a few minutes before serving.

Servings: 6

Cooking Tips
*Try substituting fontina for Mozzarella.

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