Oven Baked Sausage Pasta

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Oven Baked Sausage Pasta is a decadent dish. Smoky sausage baked in ricotta and mozzarella cheeses surrounded by fresh basil, crushed tomatoes and capped off with rotini to hold all that glorious sauce.What a great way to have a fancy weeknight supper!

close up of baked sausage pasta on a grey plate

Oven Baked Sausage Pasta

Its hard to make a good thing better. Pasta, in my book is a real crowd pleaser and is good just about any way you cook it. Take for instance our Classic Macaroni and Cheese, a pasta dish that is made so many different ways, but is a nostalgic food for most people, no matter how its made.

Lots of folks use pasta dishes as an easy go to supper for busy weeknights. A whopping 59 percent of most american households eat some kind of pasta at least once per week. WOW!! Pasta is a lot like chicken too, where most people get stuck making the same thing and eventually develop what I like to call cooking block. It is so easy to get burnt on making and eating one thing over and over again.

Here, we like taking traditional dishes and showing you how easy it is to reinvent them. We take a pasta dish and change up the type of pasta we use, change the protein and then go and bake it in the oven to create a new texture. This dish is a perfect example of how you can do the same.

How to Make Sausage Pasta

One pan meals are my favorite. Meals where you brown your protein and use those drippings to aid in the development of flavors of the whole dish are like multi levels of color in a beautiful painting. Art.

Yes. There is art in cooking. And I don’t mean the kind of cooking that involves you going to culinary school abroad. Art in cooking can exist in your grandmothers hands kneading dough for bread all the way to your kids little hands helping you in the kitchen. So much love and art can be found in your very own tiny kitchen.

With this recipe, we show you how to develop deep flavor with simple ingredients. Making a sauce from those simple ingredients and using herbs and pan drippings to do that. So let’s get started!

~Ingredients~

  • 1 pound smoked sausage cut into bite sized pieces
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil or 2 teaspoons dried
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 cups dry rotini cooked according to package directions
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 14 oz can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 & 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper

~Method~

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Boil rotini according to package directions, drain and set aside. In a separate bowl, mix ricotta cheese, 1/2 cup of mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Set aside.
  2. In an oven safe skillet, brown sausage on low to medium heat until crispy and brown. Remove from pan and drain. Place diced onion in pan drippingsand cook until soft. Add minced garlic and cook for 1 minute, taking care not to burn garlic by stirring. Add tomatoes, basil, salt, pepper and red pepper. Mix well. Add sausage in and heat through on low heat.
  3. Stir in cooked pasta. Spoon ricotta mixture in dollops throughout and top with remaining 1 cup of mozzarella.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes or until top is browned.
  5. Cool 5 minutes and enjoy!

Tips and Tricks

  • Basil – I love fresh anything. So much so, that I have a certain number of herbs I like to grow year round. The reality is though that lots of people cannot do that unless they live in a relatively moderate climate that stays that way year round. There are certain parts of the year I can’t grow basil indoors or outdoors. Dried is good too but you must know that dried herbs often require a smaller amount in recipes. When herbs are dried they become stronger. Therefore a good rule of thumb is thinking in terms of tablespoons/teaspoons for fresh/dried. This 1 for 1 is a good rule of thumb. For every 1 tablespoon of fresh, you will use 1 TEASPOON of dried. Easy Peasy.
  • Baked Pasta – If you are looking for a creamy, saucy pasta recipe, most baked ones are NOT it. Baked pastas are thicker heartier meals that really stick with you. While they have some creamy components to them, they are not velvety and creamy. It really is a different texture setting for even a cream type base for a pasta.
  • Rotini – This is a spiral type pasta. It is great for dishes like this one that have a thicker sauce. You want a pasta that works like a spoon and scoops up that beautiful sauce and cream combo. Sure, you can use another type but this one will really help clean your plate!

If you make this recipe, be sure and post it to Facebook or Instagram and tag us. We love pictures of food. Also, if you pin this recipe, we would appreciate that when you make it, you use the Made It function in Pinterest too. 

And as always, we would love it if you shared this recipe with your family and friends. Over to the side on this post and all of the others are handy dandy share buttons. We would sure be grateful if you shared the love!

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close up of baked sausage pasta on a grey plate

Oven Baked Sausage Pasta

Yield: 8
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Additional Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

Oven Baked Sausage Pasta is a decadent dish. Smoky sausage baked in ricotta and mozzarella cheeses surrounded by fresh basil, crushed tomatoes and capped off with rotini to hold all that glorious sauce.What a great way to have a fancy weeknight supper!

Ingredients

  • * 1 pound smoked sausage cut into bite sized pieces
  • * 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • * 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • * 14 oz can of crushed tomatoes
  • * 2 tablespoons fresh basil or 2 teaspoons dried
  • * 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • * 2 cups dry rotini cooked according to package directions
  • * 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • * 1 & 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, divided
  • * 1 teaspoon salt
  • * 1 teaspoon pepper
  • * 1/4 cup parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Boil rotini according to package directions, drain and set aside. In a separate bowl, mix ricotta cheese, 1/2 cup of mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Set aside.
  2. In an oven safe skillet, brown sausage on low to medium heat until crispy and brown. Remove from pan and drain. Place diced onion in pan drippingsand cook until soft. Add minced garlic and cook for 1 minute, taking care not to burn garlic by stirring. Add tomatoes, basil, salt, pepper and red pepper. Mix well. Add sausage in and heat through on low heat.
  3. Stir in cooked pasta. Spoon ricotta mixture in dollops throughout and top with remaining 1 cup of mozzarella.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes or until top is browned.
  5. Cool 5 minutes and enjoy!
Nutrition Information
Yield 8 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 318Total Fat 21gSaturated Fat 8gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 10gCholesterol 52mgSodium 958mgCarbohydrates 16gFiber 2gSugar 4gProtein 15g

**Nutritional Values are estimates only

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