Baked Pasta with Sausage and Ricotta


Larger pasta dishes in casseroles are perfect to serve up at large gatherings. There are so many variations, people in each family change up the profile each time. With this version you can prepare it all ahead and then bake it when you need it the day of the special occasiona. Always a big help when having family over.


1 pkg (454 g) penne pasta

1 lb (454 g) italian sausage meat

1 tbsp (15 mL) extra virgin olive oil

1 onion, chopped

3 tbsp (45 mL) chopped fresh parsley

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 tsp (1 mL) hot pepper flakes

1/2 cup (125 mL) dry white wine

1 jar (700 mL) passata

3 fresh basil leaves

1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt

1 tub (475 g) ricotta cheese

1/2 cup (125 mL) fresh grated Parmesan cheese

2 hard cooked eggs, peeled and chopped

1 cup (250 mL) shredded mozzarella or provolone cheese


In a large shallow skillet or saucepan, add oil to skillet over medium high heat and cook sausage with onion, parsley, garlic and hot pepper flakes and cook stirring, breaking up sausage with spoon for about 8 minutes or until browned. Add wine and simmer until absorbed. Stir in passata, basil and salt and simmer, stirring occasionally for 15 minutes.


Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C).


Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta for about 8 minutes or until al dente. Drain and return to pot. Add sausage sauce with ricotta, parmesan and eggs; stirring to combine. Spread into a 13 x 9 inch (3 L) casserole dish and sprinkle with mozzarella. Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Uncover and bake for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.


Makes 8 to 10 servings.


Tip: If bulk sausage meat isn’t available, simply use fresh Italian sausages and remove the casings.


If making this ahead of time, cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day. Bake in 350 F (180 C) oven for about 40 minutes or until heated through. Uncover and bake to add some colour and crisp up the top if desired.