August 18, 2010

Spaghetti-O Pasta Bake

Recently my family and I went on a little drive to find an Italian Market a co-worker told me about.  After a couple of wrong turns we finally got there.  It's such a cute little store and the couple that owns it makes their own sausages, and they import their cannoli shells from New York and make the filling on site.  They had a nice selection of Italian products.  We ended up getting three tiny cannoli's, some of the pasta I'm going to tell you about today, and some peppers and onion sausages that we haven't tried yet.  I'll be going back there again for sure! An interesting thing about the pasta that we purchased is that it needs to be boiled and then baked in order to get tender.  I've never heard of that before but I'm glad that the owner told me or else this recipe would not have turned out! I'm sure you can use any pasta in this, but these were so darn cute!

Brown 1lb of Italian Sausage - I used Sweet Italian. Preheat your oven to 350.

This is the pasta I bought.  I boiled this in some salted water for about 10 minutes while I prepared the meat mixture.

Cut one small onion.  I cut mine in fairly large pieces so I could dig them out easily for my daughter.  She's a pasta and red sauce kind of girl.

Add the onion to the browned sausage and cook until slightly transparent.

To this I added some mushrooms (again, large enough for me to dig out for my little one)

I had some red bell pepper on hand so I threw in about half of it, cut about the same size as the onion.

I used two cans (14 ounce?) tomato sauce.  I also used the empty cans to add the equivalent of 1 can of milk to cut the acidicness of the tomatoes.  Add one Tbsp of sugar, and 1 tsp of garlic powder (or fresh - maybe two cloves).

Pour in the drained pasta.

Pour the mixture into a casserole dish, I used a 9x13 inch dish and it was perfect.

Top with Mozzarella cheese.  I used about 2 cups I think.

Bake for about 30 minutes.

This turned out perfectly and was so yummy.  My daughter really enjoyed it too (after I fished out all the meat and veggies :-/ ).  You could add any veggie you like or switch up the meat.  The sky is the limit.  Hopefully you can find some of these cute little pasta o's somewhere near you. 

Here's what you'll need:

1 lb ground Italian Sausage of your choice
1 lb package of Anelletti pasta (or whatever you've got on hand), boiled
2 14oz can's of tomato sauce
equivalent of one tomato can of milk
1/2 bell pepper cut into cubes
1 small onion cut into cubes
1 package of mushrooms, sliced.
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp garlic powder (2 cloves fresh)
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Put your pasta in a large pot of salted water and cook for about 10 minutes.
Brown the sausage, add the cut onion until it just starts to turn translucent.  Add the mushrooms and bell pepper.  Cook for about 5 minutes.
Add the tomato sauce, milk, sugar, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
Mix the pasta into the meat mixture and then pour into a 9x13 inch pan or a casserole dish.
Top with Mozzarella cheese and bake for about 30 minutes.


Anonymous said...

"My daughter really enjoyed it too (after I fished out all the meat and veggies :-/ )." I know! The perils of parenting and trying to ensure our kids eat healthily. Or plain just eat what we cook.

Alyssamay's said...

I couldn't agree more! Glad you (and she) liked it!