Italian Sausage Pasta Bake

It used to be that when I made a meat sauce for pasta, I’d turn to good old ground beef as the meat. There’s nothing wrong with ground beef, but then one day I tried Italian sausage instead, and mmmm boy, it really kicks it up a notch! So lately I’ve been hooked on Italian sausage in my pasta, which is how this recipe was born. It’s a pretty straightforward pasta bake but very yummy. The only ingredient that’s a little different is the artichoke hearts that I used just because I happened to have half a can of artichoke hearts left over from another recipe and I didn’t know what else to do with them. Luckily they turned out to be a tasty addition to this dish, but I’m sure you could leave them out if you wanted to. The majority of the family loved this meal, except Cole who picked out all the ‘meatballs’ because they were ‘too spicy.’ I used mild sausage and no one else thought it was spicy, but Cole pretty much finds everything spicy unless it’s completely bland. He did, however, eat almost all of the noodles and sauce, so it was a partial success.

Italian Sausage Pasta Bake
1 package (375g) whole wheat rotini
1 lb Italian sausage
1 onion, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
1 tsp basil
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tbsp sugar
1/4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
2/3 cup (about half a can) artichoke hearts, chopped
dash of salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, grated

Cook pasta according to package directions. Preheat oven to 350F. Remove sausage from casings and crumble into a large non-stick skillet. Cook at medium-high heat until browned. Drain off fat and set sausage aside. In the same skillet, saute onions, peppers and garlic until soft. Return sausage to skillet and add crushed tomatoes, basil, oregano, sugar, vinegar, parmesan, artichoke hearts, salt and pepper. Mix in cooked pasta. Pour into a greased baking dish and top with mozzarella. Bake for 30 minutes.

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Welcome! I’m Megan.

My kids like to whine, especially when it comes to the food they eat, but that doesn’t stop me from trying to make tasty and healthy meals for them. Follow along as I share family-friendly recipes and reviews from my picky family members, who I lovingly call “The Whine Critics.” Read More…

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