Who doesn’t love a good mac & cheese? How about baked penne with Italian sausage and sun-dried tomatoes?

Baked Penne with Italian Sausage and Sun-Dried Tomatoes l SimplyScratch.com

Who also doesn’t love a recipe that is fun to make? One that isn’t your usual; chop and sauté onions in olive oil blah blah blah… kind of recipe? Instead you get to slice up sun dried tomatoes and mushrooms, cook up Italian sausage, make a béchamel and there is cheese, lots and lots of it!

This recipe really is fun and simple; you might not think so by the ingredient photo, but just like any other recipe, it’s easy as long as you have your ingredients in order. Get everything minced, slice and browned beforehand. Otherwise you won’t have fun if your mincing garlic as your Italian sausage is burning!

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TO Make This Baked Penne with Italian Sausage and Sun-dried Tomatoes You Will Need:

  • unsalted butter, plus more for baking dishes
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • grated fresh nutmeg
  • penne rigate pasta
  • olive oil
  • bulk ground Italian sausage
  • unbleached all-purpose flour
  • garlic cloves
  • whole milk
  • cremini mushrooms (baby portobellos)
  • oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
  • sharp provolone cheese
  • parmesan cheese

I know it seems like a lot… but really it’s simple!

Start by buttering two 2 quart casserole dishes. I have only a 1.5 and a 2.5 quart dish, so I used those. As long as they add up to 4 quarts any dishes will do. I used the small 1.5 quart for dinner that night since it was just me and my daughters and I froze the larger 2.5 quart for another nights family dinner.

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Smash, peel and mince four garlic cloves and set aside.

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Pull out a few sundried tomatoes.

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Slice into thin strips.

Keep going until you have a 1/2 cup.

Slice up the crimini or baby bella mushrooms.

Grate the provolone and parmesan cheeses.

Next add the one pound of Italian sausage to some olive oil in a large skillet.

Cook over medium heat.

Just until the sausage is cooked thoroughly. Set aside to cool.

Also while I was browning the sausage I brought a pot of water to a boil and cooked a whole pound of penne pasta for a total of 9 minutes or just 3 minutes shy of being al dente.

Now, let’s start on the béchamel.

Measure 6 tablespoons of unsalted butter.

Melt in a large pot or enameled cast iron Dutch oven.

While the butter is melting; get a half cup plus two tablespoons of flour, the minced garlic and the 6 cups of whole milk ready.

Once the butter is melted and slightly bubbly, add in the garlic and flour.

Cook for one minute.

Slow and steadily pour in the whole milk while whisking. Bring up to a small simmer.

Add in some freshly grated nutmeg. This is my favorite part… the smell of nutmeg when it hits the sauce is simply heavenly!

Whisk until the sauce has slightly thickened.

Add in the tomatoes and sliced mushrooms…

…and then the cooked Italian sausage.

Give it a stir.

Add in the provolone cheese and a 1/2 cup of the Parmesan cheese.

Stir and then add in the penne pasta.

Season with some salt a generous amount of freshly ground black pepper.

Divide amongst the two casseroles.

Sprinkle each with the remaining cup of parmesan. Wrap one, once it has cooled, in heavy aluminum foil and pop it in the freezer. Bake the other in a 400 degree oven until bubbly and browned or about 20-25 minutes.

Baked Penne with Italian Sausage and Sun-Dried Tomatoes l SimplyScratch.com

This smells AMAZING! It’s gonna be hard, but you’re gonna have to let it rest for 5 loooong minutes.

Baked Penne with Italian Sausage and Sun-Dried Tomatoes l SimplyScratch.com

And it’s almost too pretty to cut into.

Baked Penne with Italian Sausage and Sun-Dried Tomatoes l SimplyScratch.com

But not that pretty.

Baked Penne with Italian Sausage and Sun-Dried Tomatoes l SimplyScratch.com

Dish it up!

Baked Penne with Italian Sausage and Sun-Dried Tomatoes l SimplyScratch.com

Serve along with a fresh salad and you got yourself a cozy meal!

And those crispy-cheesy bits are the BEST!

Baked Penne with Italian Sausage and Sun-Dried Tomatoes l SimplyScratch.com

OH YUM! My girls and I LoVe this pasta dish and I hope you do too!

Enjoy! And if you give this Baked Penne with Italian sausage recipe a try, let me know! Snap a photo and tag me on twitter or instagram!

Baked Penne with Italian Sausage and Sun-Dried Tomatoes l SimplyScratch.com

Baked Penne with Italian Sausage and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Yield: Two [2 quart] casseroles will feed 8 people

Baked Penne with Italian Sausage and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Who doesn't love a good mac & cheese? How about baked penne with Italian sausage and sun-dried tomatoes? It's comfort food at its best!

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Additional Time 5 minutes
Total Time 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for baking dishes
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh nutmeg, grated
  • 1 pound penne rigate pasta
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 pound bulk ground Italian sausage
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 cups whole milk, room temperature
  • 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and thinly sliced
  • 1-1/2 cups (or 6 ounces) sharp provolone cheese, freshly grated
  • 1-1/2 cup (or 4 ounces) parmesan cheese, finely grated

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400. Butter two shallow 2-quart baking dishes {or equivalent}.
  2. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta 3 minutes short of al dente; drain pasta, and return to pot.
  3. In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Brown Italian sausage until cooked all the way through. Remove from heat to cool.
  4. In a 5-quart Dutch oven or heavy pot, melt butter over medium. Once melted add flour and garlic; cook, whisking, 1 minute. While whisking, gradually add milk; bring to a simmer, and in the fresh grated nutmeg and whisk frequently until thickened. Add mushrooms, sausage and tomatoes; cook 1 minute. Off heat, gradually stir in provolone and 1/2 cup Parmesan. Add pasta to pot; season with salt and pepper.
  5. Divide pasta mixture between baking dishes; sprinkle each with the remaining cup Parmesan. Bake, uncovered, until top is golden and bubbling, about 20-25 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Notes

for freezing:

Prepare up until after sprinkling with Parmesan and let pasta cool. Cover tightly with foil, and freeze up to 3 months.

reheating frozen pasta:

Preheat oven to 400°, and bake {still covered in foil} on a rimmed baking sheet until center is hot, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until hot in the center. Remove foil; bake until golden, about 15 minutes more.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

16

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 297Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 45mgSodium: 413mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 1gSugar: 6gProtein: 14g

All information presented on this site is intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information shared on SimplyScratch.com should only be used as a general guideline.