Friday, April 18, 2008

Baked Penne with Sausage & Zucchini

We don't usually have pasta twice in a week but we had some leftover tomato/vodka sauce to use as well as some pork that was waiting to be ground into Italian sausage. It was a gray sort of day & a gooey baked pasta sounded perfect. I also had some zucchini in the crisper so I decided it couldn't hurt to throw something green in. This turned out wonderful, I think I like it better than our lasagna. The creaminess of the vodka sauce, the fennel flavor of the sausage & the melted cheese were so good togheter we had to stop ourselves from eating it all in one sitting. We especially like the crispy pasta on top.
Baked Penne & Sausage
Matt did some research into different Italian sausage spices mixtures & came up with a different one for this batch. I think it was much better than the Alton Brown recipe we used before. This one had a little more depth.

Italian Sausage Spice

1/2 t garlic powder
1 T fennel seeds
1 t freshly ground black pepper
1 t kosher salt
1 t paprika

Mix with 1 lb ground pork. If grinding the pork yourself mix in with the meat when you run it through the grinder. This is a sweet sausage, add crushed red pepper flakes to make a hot sausage.

Baked Penne with Sausage & Zucchini

8 oz dry penne
1/2 lb bulk Italian sausage
1 zucchini
1 cup tomato/vodka sauce
1 & 1/8 cup grated mozzarella
grated parmesan

Grease a 5 x 6 glass baking dish with a little olive oil. Preheat oven to 375 F. Cook the penne until al dente according to the directions. Drain & set aside. Meanwhile cook the Italian sausage, drain any excess grease and set aside. Cut the zucchini into quarters lenghwise then into 1/2 pieces. Mix the penne, sausage, zucchini, tomato sauce, & 1 cup mozzarella together. Put mixture into prepared baking dish. Top with remaining mozzarella & some grated parmesan. Bake for 25 minutes or until the top is bubbly & brown.

Serves 4
Baked Penne & Sausage

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Measurement Abbreviations

T = Tablespoon
t = teaspoon
c = cup
lb = pound
oz - ounce

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