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baked penne pasta
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5 from 1 vote

Baked Penne Pasta

Easy pasta dish which is perfect for a large family or pot luck.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 12 people
Calories: 352kcal

Ingredients

  • 3 links Italian sausage
  • ½ lb. lean ground beef
  • ½ large onion (chopped)
  • ½ large bell pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • ½ cup sliced mushrooms (or dried gourmet mushrooms)
  • 1 tsp. salt (divided)
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • ½ tsp. crushed red pepper
  • ½ tsp. dried basil
  • ½ tsp. dried oregano
  • ½ tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 2 T. tomato paste
  • ¾ cup water
  • ¼ cup red wine
  • 24 oz. canned pasta sauce
  • 16 oz. penne pasta
  • 4 oz. cream cheese (cubed)
  • 3 cups shredded cheese (your favorite blend)

Instructions

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. This will be used for cooking the pasta.

Pasta Sauce

  • Remove sausage casing and add sausage to a large stockpot along with ground beef, onion, green pepper, garlic, and mushrooms.
  • Add salt, black pepper, crushed red pepper, basil, oregano, and Italian seasoning. Cook until the meat is no longer pink.
  • Add tomato paste, 3/4 cups water (or liquid from soaked mushrooms), red wine, and pasta sauce.
  • Mix the ingredients in the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.

Pasta

  • Meanwhile, add the pasta along with 1/2 teaspoon salt to boiling water. Stir to discourage the pasta from sticking together.
  • Cook for 12 minutes, then drain.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

    Assembly

    • Spray the bottom of a deep lasagna pan with nonstick cooking spray.
    • Add a cup of pasta sauce, followed by some of the pasta.
    • Distribute some cubed cream cheese and shredded cheese over the pasta along with more pasta sauce.
    • Repeat with the remaining ingredients, making sure the pasta is completely covered with the sauce.
    • End with one cup of shredded cheese.
    • Cover the pan with foil that's been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.
    • Bake for 30 minutes

    Notes

    • I always have a large container of dried gourmet mushrooms on hand. The best part about using these mushrooms is that you can use the mushroom broth (the liquid that the mushrooms are soaked in) to enhance the flavor of the sauce.
    • Although you can use your favorite wine in the sauce, stay away from overly sweet wines like Rieslings and Moscatos. Instead, use wines with a dark and bold flavor, such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Chianti.
    • Be sure to Spray the foil prior to covering the pasta with it. This will keep the cheese from sticking to the foil.
    • When reheating the pasta, add a small amount of liquid/broth. This helps to rehydrate the pasta and keeps it from being dry.

    Nutrition

    Serving: 1serving | Calories: 352kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 45mg | Sodium: 646mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g