Italian pasta dishes are the best and most classic comfort foods. This baked penne with Italian sausage is sure to get everyone to the table as soon as it comes out of the oven. My husband and I don’t make a lot of pasta, but every once in a while we do enjoy a good lasagna or a good Italian pasta dish. This is one of those favorites that we make every once in a while.
For this penne dish I decided to use mild Italian sausage, but if you wanted to reduce the calories a bit, ground turkey would work just as well. I like the Italian sausage because it’s already flavored with Italian flavors and it tastes just wonderful. Another thing you can do to make this dish healthier is use whole wheat pasta. However, with the Italian sausage and the white flour penne this dish comes out to about 15 Weight Watcher Points per serving if you make 8 servings out of this dish, or about 11 points per serving if you make 12 servings out of it. If you make 8 servings you get a fairly big portion of penne and for the 15 points I think it’s worth it.
Making pasta dishes is very simple. You basically make your meat sauce, boil your pasta, mix it all together, add some cheese and voila!
Bake this in the oven for about 20 minutes at 350 F degrees and let it cool for a few minutes before serving.
I think this dish is still somewhat healthy because I added lots of veggies to it, such as the peas, tomatoes, peppers and onion. I also only used 6 oz of part-skim mozzarella cheese, so all in all not too bad.
- 6 mild Italian sausage links, casings removed
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 green pepper, chopped
- 28 oz canned diced tomatoes
- 10 oz frozen green peas, thawed
- 2 tbsp canned tomato paste
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried basil
- ½ tsp dried thyme
- ½ tsp fennel seed
- ½ tsp salt, or to taste
- ½ tsp pepper
- 12 oz uncooked penne pasta, cooked according to package instructions
- 6 oz shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
- Preheat oven to 350 F degrees.
- Crumble the sausage meat into a large saucepan over medium heat and brown, stirring often for about 5 minutes.
- Add the onion, pepper and continue cooking for another 3 minutes, or until the onion and pepper has softened and the onion is translucent.
- Stir in the tomatoes, peas, oregano, tomato paste, basil, thyme, fennel seeds, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat and cook for another 10 minutes, stirring often as needed.
- Add the cooked penne and 3 oz of the cheese and mix well. Spread evenly into a 9x13 inch baking pan and top it off with the remaining cheese.
- Bake until the cheese has melted and the casserole is bubbling, for about 20 minutes.
- Let it cool for a few minutes at room temperature before slicing into 8 pieces.