At least that's what my pasta would say if it could talk. Other than lasagna, I don't usually do baked pasta. Again - LA-zy. I mean, when the pasta's done in the pot its eatin' time! But I stumbled upon a WC cooking "challenge" and had to partake. "WC" for the uninitiated stands for "What's Cooking" an online community run through "thenest.com" Actually, I believe its now called "What's for Dinner" but for those of us who have been around from the beginning, it will always be What's Cooking. When I started studying for the bar I stopped almost all my online activity, save for reading blogs and emails.
I miss my online communities though, which will sound odd to any of you who haven't partaken in this experience. But I've grown to know and love the women with whom I chat with, and I've even MET some of them (and they've been even better in person). And only a few of them are crazy/psycho/don't-give-them-your-real-name-or-they'll-show-up-at-your-door-at-2-AM-with-a-knife.
I digress. So as I was reading one of the WC blogs I noticed that the amazingly talented women of what's cooking have started a "recipe of the week." I wanna play I wanna play! Its a way to stay "close" right? This week it was Cooking Light's Baked Pasta with Sausage, Tomato, and Cheese. Here's the original recipe. I made some changes based on taste/what we had on hand. I used whole wheat pasta (because that's what we predominately use), Trader Joes chicken spicy italian sausage (cause its healthy), canned plum tomatoes with basil (cause I had some in the pantry), and sliced mozzarella cheese (cause I hate shredding cheese).
The result? Cheesy, tomato-y goodness. I don't know if this will make it into the regular rotation, but it was good enough for Jon to eat half of it tonight. Uggghhh HALF? That's a lotta pasta and cheese. Someone's not going to be feeling so hot in a couple hours. But as always, I'll take that to mean it was good. He especially liked the sausage...and the cheese.....and the fact that it was hot...and that it was made from food....
1 (1-pound) package uncooked whole wheat penne
1/2 pound chicken spicy Italian sausage
1 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 28 oz can plum tomatoes and basil, undrained
8 slices fresh mozzarella cheese
1 cup (4 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
2. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain the pasta, and set aside.
3. Remove casings from sausage. Cook sausage, onion, and garlic in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until browned, stirring to crumble. Add the tomato paste, salt, pepper, and tomatoes, and bring to a boil.
5. Combine cooked pasta and sausage mixture. Place half of the pasta mixture in a 3-quart casserole coated with cooking spray. Top with half of mozzarella and half of Parmesan. Repeat layers. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until bubbly.