Friday, December 26, 2008

Denise's Italian Pasta Bake

1 lb. package of uncooked rigatoni (or other tube-shaped pasta)
1 Tbsp. olive oil
20-oz. package of sweet turkey Italian sausage links
2 tsp. (split) dried Italian seasoning
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
dash of salt
2 zucchini squash, sliced
1 jar garlic-and-herb tomato/pasta sauce
1 can of garlic-and-herb diced tomatoes, not drained
1/2 cup grated asiago cheese
1/4 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese
3/4 cup (split) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
2 Tbsp. fresh basil leaves, shredded/chopped

1. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Remove casings from sausage. Add olive oil and sausage to pan ;cook until browned, stirring to crumble. Remove and set aside to keep warm.
2. Cook pasta according to package direcions. Drain and keep warm.
3. Saute zucchini squash in skillet for 2 minutes. Remove and slice pieces into quarters.
4. Return sausage to skillet. Add Italian seasoning, pepper, garlic, and salt to pan; saute 6 minutes. Stir in tomato sauce and diced tomatoes. Reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes.
5. Spoon sauce mixture, pasta, and zucchini into a 9x13 baking dish. Stir in asiago and paresan cheese, 1/2 cup mozzarella, and fresh basil; toss gently until mixed throughout. Top with remaining mozzarella.
6. Bake at 350 degrees for 7 minutes on medium oven rack. Serves 10-12.

Note: This recipe freezes well; simply add a bit of water to dish before baking (with foil on top) for 3o-45 minutes from frozen.

*Thanks Laurel for the idea for this recipe!

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