Friday, May 6, 2011

Pasta Rustica

2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
¾ lb. chicken or turkey sausage, casing removed
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried oregano
¼ tsp. hot red pepper flakes
1 can (28 oz.) tomatoes in puree, tomatoes coarsely chopped and puree reserved
Salt, to taste
1 lb. penne pasta
1 ¼ c. ricotta cheese (I use cottage cheese)
2 c. shredded fontina or mozzarella cheese
½ c. grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

 In a large saucepan over medium heat, warm oil.  Add onion and cook until golden, about 5 min.  Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 min.  Add sausage and cook, breaking it up into bite-size pieces, until no longer pink, about 6 min.  Stir in basil, oregano and red pepper flakes.  Add tomatoes with puree and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 10-12 min.  Taste and adjust seasonings.  Preheat oven to 350°.  Lightly oil a baking dish.  Bring a large pot ¾ full of water to a boil over high heat.  Salt the water, add pasta, stir well and cook until barely al dente (tender but firm to the bite), 10-12 min.  Drain well.  In a large bowl, toss pasta with sauce, ricotta, and mozzarella.  Spread in pre-buttered baking dish and sprinkle with Parmigiano-Reggiano.  Bake until cheeses are melted and edges of pasta are crusty, about 30 min.  Let stand 5 min. before serving.  Serve hot.  Makes 6-8 servings.

*This is my favorite main dish recipe.  I wanted to bring some to the cooking group this week, but I was too lazy to make it!

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