Baked Pasta with Sausage and Zucchini brings the warm, hearty deliciousness of a family style casserole and combines it with lots of vegetables that we all should be eating! Best part is my kids have no idea how much zucchini is in this dish.
Baked Pasta with Sausage and Zucchini
Maybe the best part of Baked Pasta with Sausage and Zucchini is that my kids have no idea how many vegetables they are eating. I keep trying to explain to my middle child that it is not fitting for the child of a foodie to choose a hiatus from vegetables. By hiatus, I mean downright refusal. She insists on deploying her very powerful 5 year old negotiating skills. So as much as I prefer that my kids eat veggies because they are healthy and delicious, I am not above sticking them in things when they are not looking.
Sausage Baked Pasta
Pasta is always a winner and Baked Pasta with Sausage and Zucchini brings together the warm, hearty feeling of a good homestyle casserole with the piles of veggies that we all need to eat more of. I like to make my own pasta sauce in bulk when tomatoes are in season but feel free to substitute your favorite sauce. Remember that the zucchini will release a lot of water while cooking. So make sure you drain the water before adding the pasta sauce. The sausage we purchase from the butcher is so lean it does not need to be drained, so when I am in a hurry I toss the zucchini and sausage in together to cook then just drain off the water when the sausage is fully cooked. Make sure you have cooked off all the water from the zucchini and drained any cooked off grease from the sausage if needed.
This is a big batch of baked pasta so be prepared to feed a crowd or have leftovers. We love leftovers around here. So dinner tonight is lunch tomorrow. Need more pasta recipes? This Garlicy Pasta with Sauteed Shrimp and Chard is one of my favorites and goes on the table in less than 20 minutes – perfect for busy weeknights! We love clams around here and ever since we figured out how easy it was to cook clams, we can’t get enough of them. Try these Clams and Roasted Red Pepper Linguine for dinner this week.
- 1 lb high quality ground sausage
- 3 medium zucchini grated
- 1 small onion grated
- 32 oz Marinara Sauce 4 cups
- 1 cup grated Mozzarella
- 1 cup Ricotta
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese grated
- Kosher salt and fresh pepper
- 1 box whole wheat penne pasta
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Heat a large pot of well salted water for the pasta. Cook pasta for 8 minutes. Pasta should still be firm. Drain pasta and splash with cold water to stop the cooking.
- Add sausage and onion to a large skillet or Dutch oven and heat over medium heat, breaking up the sausage as it cooks. Cook sausage until it is cooked completely with no pink. Drain sausage if needed. Pour sausage and onions into a small bowl and set aside.
- Add grated zucchini to the same skillet. Add salt and pepper to taste and cook zucchini until all of the water has cooked out, around 5-6 minutes. Add the sausage and onions back to the skillet. Stir to combine.
- Add marinara sauce to the sausage mixture and mix to heat and combine. Add cooked pasta to the skillet and stir to combine.
- Prepare a 9x13 casserole dish with either non-stick spray or brush with olive oil. Spoon half the pasta mixture into the dish. Layer a portion of the ricotta, parmesan and mozzarella over the pasta. Cover with the remaining pasta. Layer the rest of the cheese on top.
- Place casserole into the preheated oven and cook for 25 minutes. If you want the cheese to be browned in places, place it under the broiler for 3 minutes before removing it from the oven.
- Allow Baked Pasta to sit for 5 minutes before cutting and serving.