Pasta Rustica is a hearty, home-style baked pasta dish with crumbled Italian sausage.
If desired, you can substitute ground beef, turkey, or chicken for the sausage.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound Italian sausage, casings removed
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Pinch red pepper flakes
1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes
Salt and pepper
1 pound ziti or penne pasta
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 cup fontina cheese, grated
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
Add the onions and garlic and saute for 3-4 minutes, or until lightly golden.
Add the sausage. With a wooden spoon, break the sausage up into small
chunks. Cook about 5 minutes and the sausage starts to brown.
Add basil, oregano, pepper flakes, and tomatoes. Bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat to low and simmer about 15 minutes to thicken the sauce.
Season with salt and pepper.
Pregeat oven to 350 degrees F.
Grease a 13x15-inch baking dish.
Cook the pasta until al dente, 10-12 minutes. Drain.
In a large bowl, combine the pasta with the sauce, ricotta, mozzarella, and
fontina. Gently stir until all the ingredients are well combined.
Spread in the prepared baking pan and top with Parmesan cheese.
Bake 30 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the top begins to get
crusty. Serve hot.