We love pasta bakes in our family. You can always make a big batch to feed everyone; they are filling and packed with amazing flavor.
Swap option: For a vegetarian option substitute fresh veggies like peppers, zucchini, mushrooms, eggplant chili, etc. for the sausage.
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 2 pounds Italian sausage
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 5 cups tomato puree
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup fresh spinach
- 1 handful fresh basil leaves
- 2 pounds rigatoni
- 5 cups sliced mozzarella
- 1 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
1. In a skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil. Take the casings off the sausages, and add meat to skillet. Break up with wooden spoon into thick chunks. Cook for about 8 minutes.
2. Add the onions and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until golden. Add the tomato puree and tomato paste, and season with salt and pepper. Mix well.
3. Chop the spinach and basil and add to the skillet. Mix well and reduce heat. As the sauce simmers, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the rigatoni and cook until al dente.
4. Preheat oven to 350°F. Drain the rigatoni and add to the skillet with the sausages and sauce. Mix well, then lightly oil a 9- by 13-inch baking dish. Spread the pasta mixture in the baking dish, then break up the mozzarella and spread it around the top of the dish. Cover with Parmigiano Reggiano.
5. Bake until the sauce is bubbling, the Parmigiano is nice and crispy on top, and the mozzarella is melted, 20-25 minutes.