Easy Weeknight Pasta Bake

Pasta BakeNow that fall is officially here and the weather is starting to make a turn for colder temperatures,  I notice that we are craving more comforting things for dinner. I have been making this dish for years and it’s kind of our “old faithful” when we want something fairly quick, easy and delicious. The thing we love most about it is that you can switch it up depending on what you have in your fridge/your preferences and since it’s just for the two of us it leaves a crazy amount of leftovers which solves the lunch dilemma for a couple days or gives us another dinner during the week! This also makes a great dish to bring to a party or a dinner because all it needs is to be heated through so keep it in mind for the upcoming holiday season. Sometimes we grind up our own meat using our kitchen aid mixer attachment (usually chicken) or we just load it up with veggies and no meat but this version had sausage, peppers and onions which is my favorite!

1. Start off by boiling a large pot of water, heavily salting it and then cooking one box of pasta (we like ziti the best) according to the box directions to al dente.

2. While that’s cooking, heat up 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil over medium high heat in a large skillet. Add 3 cloves minced garlic and a pinch of red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until fragrant about 30 seconds. 

3. Add 1 large green bell pepper and 1 large white onion that have been sliced, and sauté until starting to caramelized, about 5 minutes.

4. While the veggies and the pasta are cooking, brown up 3-4 italian sausages (we like hot!) in a small sauté pan over medium high heat. Once cooked, cut into thin slices.

5. Once the pasta is finished cooking, drain the water and return the pasta to its pot. Stir in the sautéed veggies, the sliced sausage, a 24 oz jar of pasta sauce and about half of an 8 oz bag of shredded mozzarella cheese.

6. Dump the whole mixture into a 9″ x 13″ casserole dish (we’ve had THIS pampered chef one for years and love it) and sprinkle the other half of the bag of cheese on top. Turn your oven’s broiler on and put the whole thing in the oven until the cheese it melted, bubbly and slightly browned!

Pasta Bake How To

Easy Weeknight Pasta Bake

Serves 4-6

16 ounce box ziti pasta

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

pinch of red pepper flakes

1 large green bell pepper, sliced

1 large white onion, sliced

3-4 italian sausages

24 ounce jar of pasta sauce

8 ounce bag of shredded mozzarella cheese

1. Start off by boiling a large pot of water, heavily salting it and then cooking the pasta according to the box directions to al dente.

2. While that’s cooking, heat up the oil over medium high heat in a large skillet. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until fragrant about 30 seconds.

3. Add the bell pepper and onion and sauté until starting to caramelized, about 5 minutes.

4. While the veggies and the pasta are cooking, brown up the sausages in a small sauté pan over medium high heat. Once cooked, cut into thin slices.

5. Once the pasta is finished cooking, drain the water and return the pasta to its pot. Stir in the sautéed veggies, the sliced sausage, the pasta sauce and about half of the bag of cheese.

6. Dump the whole mixture into a 9″ x 13″ casserole dish and sprinkle the other half of the bag of cheese on top. Turn your oven’s broiler on and put the whole thing in the oven until the cheese it melted, bubbly and slightly browned!

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