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Baked Penne and Italian Sausage Ragu

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Baked Penne and Italian Sausage Ragu

Baked Penne and Italian Sausage Ragu
New Media Publishing / Photography: Flat Art Studios.com / Stylist: Abigail Donnelly
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total prep
New Year's Day is all about relaxing, and this pasta bake, a rustic mix of penne, Italian sausage, and olives, is easy to assemble the day before. Turn on the bowl games and just pop it in the oven to reheat.

Ingredients

Directions

  • Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium high heat until hot, then brown sausage in 2 batches, stirring and breaking up into bite-size pieces, until no longer pink. Transfer with a slotted spoon as browned to a wide 6- to 8-quart heavy pot.
  • Pour off all but 2 tablespoons fat from skillet, then cook onion over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add wine and boil, stirring up brown bits, then transfer to pot. Add tomatoes, olives, bay leaf, 1 cup water, salt, and pepper, then simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 20 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 375F with rack in middle.
  • Cook penne in a pasta pot of boiling salted water, uncovered, until not quite al dente (pasta should still be firm). Drain pasta, then combine well with sauce and 1 1/2 cups cheese. Transfer to a 4-quart (15- by 10- by 2-inch) baking dish and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Bake pasta until cheese starts to brown, 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Make ahead: Sauce can be made 3 days ahead and kept chilled once cooled. Pasta dish can be assembled 1 day ahead and kept chilled once cooled. Reheat, uncovered, in a 375F oven, about 30 minutes.