Saturday, March 6, 2010

Baked Sausage, Spinach 4 Cheese Penne

This baked penne turned out so addicting, I am sitting here two days later craving more. Wow it was good. Of course, I am self avowed pasta addict but this creamy cheesy pasta dish has me hooked. The surprising part for me (this recipe is the result of a sample from Bertolli courtesy of the Foodbuzz tastemaker program) is that it involves using a canned cream sauce. I actually have issues with most canned Italian cream sauces. They always have a funny consistency and aftertaste to me. I am kind of a fresh cream sauce snob. So I went into the review of Bertolli's new 4 Cheese Rosa Sauce with a little trepidation. I wanted to love it. I mean look at the gorgeous package they sent me. But as I said I have past issues with cream sauce. I decided to do a little alteration on one of the recipes they sent me.

Two reasons for this recipe: It sounded like it was right up my alley and secondly, I have a friend who reads this blog that has told me she needs recipes for her Italian sausage. So, Heather this one is for you and for anyone else that needs an absolutely decadent grown up version of baked mac and cheese. We have mentioned my cheapness on this blog before and I rarely buy pre-made sauces unless they are the cheapo Hunts or I make it from scratch.

So, I priced out Bertolli sauces today; because seriously I have every intention of keeping a bottle of this stuff in my pantry just so I can have it on hand to whip up a delish dish for company. Bertolli sauces run about $2.50 to $3 in my neck of woods. But considering the large quantity this dish makes I think it is worth the splurge. Because this dish really can feed 8 to 10 people (Excuse me, am I gushing).

Without further ado my new favorite Rosa Cream sauce pasta dish:

1 Cup ricotta cheese
2 Cups shredded Italian cheese mix or mozarella.
1 Tb dried basil
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/8 tsp pepper
1 lb Italian sausage removed from casings and cooked and crumbled
1 cup fresh spinach
1 jar Bertolli Four Cheese Rosa Sauce
8 oz of penne or rigatoni pasta, cooked and drained
2 Tb Italian seasoned dry bread crumbs
2 Tb grated parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook sausage until brown. Saute spinach in sausage drippings until slightly wilted. Combine ricotta cheese, 1 1/2 Cups shredded cheese, basil, egg, and pepper. Toss hot rigatoni with sauce, sausage and spinach in large casserole dish (11 x 7-inch). Stir in ricotta mixture.
Top with remaining shredded cheese, bread crumbs and parmesan. Bake covered for 25 minutes. Remove cover and bake an additional 5 minutes or until bread crumbs and cheese begins to brown and cheese is melted.

Next I am going to give their arrabbiata sauce a try.


Catherine said...

This penne looks amazing! I'm sure once I try it, I too will be addicted!
I'll have to try this VERY soon!

Miss Meat and Potatoes said...

Sausage and cheese and pasta. Yep you've pretty got all my favorite things covered! This looks delicious!!

nutmegnanny said...

I love that it has an addition of sausage....awesome!


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