Some meals need no ceremony — the ingredients speak for themselves — and today’s recipe falls into that category. Pasta, tomatoes, chicken sausages, and fontina cheese get baked together in a lusciously rich dish that’s reminiscent of lasagna (but doesn’t require nearly as much work). A sprinkle of dried oregano and some chopped garlic also up the flavor ante, making it completely irresistible. Your family will flip for this meal — so make it tonight!
Sarah’s Tip of the Day:
This recipe makes two pans of pasta. Serve one for dinner and freeze the second for up to three months.
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PREP: 30 MINS TOTAL TIME: 1 HOUR 15 MINS
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium red onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup vodka (optional)
1 can (28 ounces) whole tomatoes with juice, lightly crushed with hands
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 pound rigatoni
10 ounces baby spinach
12 ounces smoked chicken sausage, halved lengthwise and sliced 1/4 inch thick
6 ounces fontina cheese, 4 ounces cut into 1/2-inch cubes and 2 ounces coarsely grated
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
To freeze, prepare the dish through step 4; let cool completely before covering tightly with plastic wrap and placing in the freezer. If you freeze this dish, do not thaw before baking. Remove plastic wrap, and cover with foil. Cook until heated through, 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours. Remove foil, and continue with step 5.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion; cook until translucent, about 3 minutes. Stir in garlic. Remove from heat; add vodka, if desired. Return to heat; cook until almost evaporated, 1 minute.
Stir in tomatoes and oregano; cook until tomatoes are falling apart, 10 to 15 minutes. Add cream; cook until warmed through, about 5 minutes. Season sauce with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cook pasta in the boiling water until al dente, according to package instructions. Add spinach, and cook just until wilted. Drain, and return contents to pot.
Add tomato sauce, sausage, and cubed fontina to pot; toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Divide evenly between two shallow 1 1/2-quart baking dishes.
Top with grated fontina and Parmesan. Bake until browned and edges are crisp, 20 to 30 minutes.
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Sarah Carey is the editor of Everyday Food magazine and her job is to come up with the best ways to make fast, delicious food at home. But she’s also a mom to two hungry kids, so the question “What’s for dinner?” is never far from her mind — or theirs, it seems! Her days can get crazy busy (whose don’t?), so these videos are all about her favorite fast, fresh meals — and the tricks she uses to make it all SO much easier.
Baked Pasta with Chicken Sausage – Everyday Food with Sarah Carey