My Husband Cooks Too: Cheesy Pasta Bake

My husband does cook, although not nearly as often as I do. He is a very different cook than I am. He maintains a small repertoire of dishes that he makes over and over again, improving each time, and I have hardly ever seen him consult a recipe. Rather, he cooks solely by memory and taste. When he takes to the kitchen, I can expect him to be in there the whole afternoon; he takes his time. The results are always worth it!

One of my husband’s mainstay dishes is an Italian red sauce. I am always glad to see him make this, because he makes a huge pot of it, most of which I can freeze and use not only as a pasta sauce but in any Italian recipe that calls for a tomato sauce. I couldn’t share the recipe even if I wanted to, because I have no idea what it is and I’m not even sure my husband does either, not consciously. I do know that the key ingredient is Bionaturae organic bottled, not canned, tomato puree, which we can only find in our local co-op (they also make a terrific bottled tomato paste, which is very handy to have because it can be resealed and stored in the refrigerator).

When my husband makes sauce, he likes to do a little something different with it each time. Sometimes he’ll use it for a chicken Parmesan, others for a hearty ragout with sausage, or whatever he feels like. This time, he was inspired to make a cheesy pasta bake with Italian sausage. Again, he didn’t follow a recipe, just his instincts.

Cheesy Pasta Bake

It was every bit as good as it looks. If you want to try to re-create it, here is the process for assembly.

Cheesy Pasta Bake

Yields: 2-4 servings
What you need:

  • 2 Italian sausages (we used chicken sausage)
  • 2-3 cups of thick Italian-style tomato sauce (since I can’t share my husband’s recipe, try this marinara sauce instead, or use your own favorite recipe)
  • ½ lb. penne pasta
  • 4 oz. mozzarella, thinly sliced
  1. Slice the sausages and bring to a simmer in the tomato sauce.
  2. Bring salted water to a boil and cook the pasta until just about done.
  3. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  4. Spoon a thin layer of sauce over the bottom of a baking dish.
  5. Top with the pasta.
  6. Spoon over the remaining sauce and sausages.
  7. Top with a layer of the mozzarella slices.
  8. Bake 10-15 minutes, until the cheese is melted and browned.

Notes: All measurements are approximate and based on memory — use your best judgment, and double as appropriate. Leftovers keep very well for reheating later, so feel free to make a lot.


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3 thoughts on “My Husband Cooks Too: Cheesy Pasta Bake

  1. dylan555 10 December 2007 at 6:33 pm

    That sounds about right. We could try to create a recipe if you’d like. I’m glad that my sauce is blog-worthy…

  2. Leo 14 December 2007 at 12:47 pm

    Maybe you can help me out with something…? I want to order all of my food online from now on because of various reasons, but I don’t know where to go for quality food. I have tried 2 companies so far, Fresh Dining, and and Celebrity Foods, but I wanna get others I can try out. Do you know of any? The main thing I’ve ordered so far is steak. I guess you can say, I’m a steak junkie. LOL!!! From what I have found out (from what I have ordered so far) I think I am able to regulate the quality of beef I buy. I hate going to a store and getting that crappy slab of beef that I have to cut down until there is like nothing left. Hahaha!!!! (its so true though) Anyhow, sorry that I made this comment so long. If you can help me out or point me in a direction where I might find more quality foods online, I would greatly appreciate it. Have a good day or night! (depending on when you read this) LOL!!!!

  3. […] He spend all of Wednesday making a vat of tomato sauce and used some of it yesterday to make baked pasta with sausage and mozzarella, his signature dish. (The rest we bagged and froze in case of a post-apocalyptic […]

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