Thursday, October 1, 2009

PENNE & SAUSAGE CASSEROLES

~ Taste of Home – June/July 2009

1 1/2 lbs. uncooked penne pasta
1 lb. bulk Italian sausage
1 lb. sliced mushrooms
1 large onion, chopped
3 T. olive oil
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 T. oregano
1 1/2 c. dry red wine or beef broth, divided
2 cans (14 1/2 oz. each) stewed tomatoes, cut up
1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce
1 c. beef broth
4 c. shredded mozzarella
4 c. shredded Fontina

Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a Dutch oven, cook sausage over medium heat until no longer pink; drain and set aside.

In the same Dutch oven, sauté mushrooms and onion in oil until tender. Add garlic and oregano; cook one minute longer. Stir in 1 cup wine. Bring to a boil; cook until liquid is reduced by half. Stir in the tomatoes, tomato sauce, broth, sausage and remaining wine. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread 1/2 cup sauce in each of two greased 9x13-inch pans. Divide half of the pasta between the dishes (1/4 of the total pasta into each pan); top each pan with 2 1/2 cups sauce and 1 cup of each of the cheeses. Repeat layers.

Cover and bake 25 minutes. Uncover; bake 5-10 minutes or until bubbly and cheese is melted.

Notes: We used beef broth in place of wine and canned diced tomatoes in place of stewed tomatoes. I don't drain the meat, but scoop it out with a slotted spoon, then saute the onions and mushrooms in the sausage grease. If you don't need two full pans at a time, then you can freeze half the sauce for a future meal.  Monterey Jack works just as well as Fontina and is half the price.  I use all Monterey Jack or half mozzarella and half Monterey Jack, skipping the Fontina entirely.

Linked up at: Eat at Home Ingredient Spotlight - hot dogs & sausage

4 comments:

Tannis said...

Did you freeze one of these since it makes 2 9x13 pans? If so, how did it turn out? I'm making it for dinner tonight!

BETHANY said...

The second pan went to someone else. I'm curious to see how it freezes though, so let me know!!

Tannis said...

I have the sauce simmering now. I'm trying to decide if I should put it all together and freeze or just divide out the sauce and freeze that seperately. Then when I go to make it again I can just boil some noodles and add the cheese to make the casserole. I think I'm leaning towards that because this is what I found on the internet:

Freezing pasta is usually a bad idea, but there are some exceptions. Casserole-style pasta dishes like lasagna usually freeze nicely, provided the noodles are (again) only partially cooked before placing them in the freezer. Some recipes of this type even call for uncooked noodles--as long as there is plenty of sauce in the recipe, the moisture will permeate the noodles as the food defrosts and reheeats.

Tannis said...

Bethany this was yummy! Of course I made a few adjustments due to our tastes (no onions, chicken broth and turkey sausage) and what I had one hand (no mushrooms, regular diced tomatoes). And used your suggestion of monterery jack cheese instead of fontina. Delicious!

I did chose to freeze the sauce and not make the whole other casserole. It should still be easy to throw together being that the sauce is what took the most amount of time.

Thanks again for another great recipe!