Sunday, August 14, 2011

Baked Penne with Sausage and Broccoli

Crumbling sausage is a great way to enjoy it with pasta or in casseroles. I made this one up as I went along using 1 pound of hot Italian sausage. Also, I threw it together in the afternoon and kept it in the fridge until I was ready to bake it. It was delicious, and made great leftovers!

I often freeze leftovers from casseroles in single-serving packets. I wrap a single-serving in plastic wrap (no container), then foil, and store the packets in a freezer bag. Perfect for those nights when I'm on my own for dinner.

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 lb hot Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1 large head of broccoli, washed and chopped into florets
  • 3/4 lb penne pasta, cooked to al dente
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Optional: a few shakes of red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 c light cream
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch or flour
  • Approximate amounts: 1/2 c shredded mozzarella; 1/4 c shredded Pecorino romano
  • If baking immediately, preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • Heat olive oil in a large pan
  • Crumble the sausage into the pan, using a spoon/spatula to break it up. Saute until browned, about 10 minutes
  • Halfway through cooking the sausage, add shallots and garlic, and red pepper flakes if you are using them.
  • Transfer sausage mixture to a casserole dish, mix with the pasta
  • In the meantime, melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the flour/cornstarch and whisk to make a roux. Add the cream. Bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat and whisk in the cheese until fully melted and creamy.
  • Pour the creamy cheese sauce over the pasta/sausage mixture. Mix until fully coated.
  • Either store covered in the fridge until you are ready to bake it, or bake for 30-40 minutes until hot and bubbly.


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