Just before Emilia was born my little brother came into town. My grandmother makes this classic Puerto Rican dish and he wanted to make it for his friends so we went grocery shopping together. Since it’s one of his favorite dishes he took the time to learn it whereas I hadn’t and I was so surprised at what was in it. Red clam sauce and Ragu sauce were two of the main ingredients that shocked me. I always thought that everything in that dish was completely homemade but it turns out that it wasn’t. Instead my grandma used Ragu and I was never disappointed with the way it tasted.
While my little brother tends to favor the Puerto Rican side of the family’s cooking I tend to favor the Italian side. I’m a pasta lover at heart. My favorite restaurants to visit are often Italian and when I make a weekly meal plan I tend to have more pasta dishes than anything else. Head to my lunches & dinners board and you’ll see what I mean. I can browse recipes for hours.
There is something just so comforting to me about italian food. I’ve talked about before how I usually make my own sauce but I’ll be real and say that doesn’t always happen. These days I pick up a jar of some good homestyle sauce and add it to my favorite family dishes. One of those is Baked Penne with Italian sausage. Baked penne is great because there are so many different things you can do with it. Since I love Italian Sausage I went with it and made baked penne with italian sausage. I swear I could become of vegetarian if it weren’t for sausage and bacon.
Prep time for this meal takes under 20 minutes then you just pop it into the oven and wait for the cheese on top to get bubbly. So let’s set this up for success. Preheat your oven to 350F. Boil a large pot of water for 1lb of penne pasta. On another burner cook 1lb of sausage over low to medium heat, stirring occasionally. While the sausage and pasta are cooking in a medium sized bowl combine 1 jar of Ragu Homestyle Thick & Hearty Roasted Garlic sauce, 1/4 cup parmesan cheese and 12 oz riccotta cheese.
When the pasta is al dente drain, rinse and set aside. When the sausage is done drain as well and set aside. In a large bowl combine the sauce mixture, pasta and sausage.
Spread the mixture into a 9×13 glass baking dish.
Sprinkle with 12oz shredded mozzarella cheese.
Bake at 350F for 40 minutes or until the cheese is bubbling and the entire dish is warm. Serve immediately.
- Preheat your oven to 350F.
- While the oven is pre-heating, cook 1lb penne pasta, al dente, according to package directions.
- Over low to medium heat cook italian sausage, stirring occasionally.
- In a medium size bowl combine 1 23oz jar Ragu Homestyle Thick & Hearty Roasted Garlic, 12oz ricotta cheese and 1/4 cup parmesan cheese.
- When the sausage is finished remove excess grease. Once the pasta is cooked drain and combine the pasta, sauce mixture and sausage in a large bowl.
- Pour the pasta and sausage mixture into a 9x13 glass dish. Shred 12oz of mozzarella cheese and spread over the top of the pasta.
- Bake at 350F for 35-40 minutes or until the cheese is bubbling and the entire dish is warm.