This quick and easy Layered Italian Sausage Pasta Bake recipe can be made with mostaccioli, penne or ziti pastas, tomato sauce and 6-cheese Italian mix.
Easy Cheesy Layered Italian Sausage Pasta Bake Recipe
When you are hungering for hearty dinner recipe that won’t disappoint, look no further than this Layered Italian Sausage Pasta Bake. It combines cooked Italian sausage, and your choice of baked pasta (mostaccioli, penne, ziti) smothered in a rich puttanesca sauce and topped with lots of cheesy goodness.
Weekly meal prep doesn’t have to be a drag. I came to this conclusion long ago when I started to make this quick and easy layered pasta bake recipe.
It won’t take much effort on your part, just a pan to boil the pasta, a baking dish and a medium fry pan, if you don’t have cooked sausage at the ready.
Baked Mostaccioli, Penne, or Ziti
Most folks use these pasta types interchangeably but there is some method to the pasta madness. No really.
Mostaccioli is smooth on its outer surface and is tubular that is cut on the bias.
Penne, on the other hand, is larger and has ridges cut into the sides of the pasta.
While ziti pasta is smaller than either mostaccioli or penne and is cut straight. And, it may or may not have ridges.
What you want to know is that you can use either of these three pastas for this recipe. It just happened that I had only had penne pasta on hand.
How to Make Mostaccioli on the Stove – Like most pastas (penne and ziti), it’s easy to make mostaccioli on the stove. Start by boiling your water (16 cups) and salt it with a tablespoon of either sea salt or iodized table salt. Add your pasta and cook to al dente, approximately 7 to 8 minutes. Full cooking time is usually 10 minutes per one pound of pasta. But since you will be baking the pasta, there’s no need to cook your pasta to doneness.
This recipe uses simple pantry items like a one pound bag of Alessi Italian Penne Pasta, two jars of Alessi Puttanesca Sauce, one cup of chopped tomatoes and basil and one pound cooked Italian sausage.
Cooking Tip: If you don’t have penne pasta, ziti or mostaccioli pasta will do also nicely. Use same amount as in recipe below.
First prep your large baking dish (9×9 in or 2 1/2 quarts) with non-stick spray and begin layering with the sausage and tomato-basil mix.
Then, top with four ounces of a good Italian cheese blend.
At this point, top the cheese with a layer of sauce. By this time, the pasta should be al dente and ready to be added on top of the sauce.
For this task, I like to use a cooking spider because it really allows most of the pasta water to drain. Depending upon your baking dish, you’ll need approximately half of the cooked pasta or four cups. Be sure not to overfill as the pasta sauce might spill over.
I like to nudge my pasta sauce into the nooks and crannies. Layer generously but not to overfilling.
Add the rest of the cheese and bake in a preheated 375 degree F oven for approximately 45 minutes.
Cooking Tip: To avoid spillage, use a cookie sheet under the baking dish.
The Layered Italian Sausage Pasta Bake should have a nice light golden brown top. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for five minutes before serving.
As you can see, there’s plenty for all.
And, hearty enough for a meal or two. Be sure to serve this dish with a side salad and some crusty bread. Enjoy!
More Recommended Pasta Recipes
For more delicious pasta dishes for you and your family, here are my favorite picks:
- Pasta e Fagioli or Italian Bean Stew
- 10 Minute One Pan Pasta Recipe
- Artichoke Hearts with Braised Sausage Pasta
- Easy Baked Italian Penne Pasta with Meat and Cheese Sauce
- Authentic Bolognese Ragu
- Baked Penne with Spinach and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
- Vegetable Puttanesca with Sausage
Layered Italian Sausage Pasta Bake Recipe
- 1 lb sweet Italian sausage cooked
- 1 cup tomatoes chopped
- 1 tbsp basil chopped
- 5 cups Alessi Putanesca Sauce
- 8 oz Sargento 6 Italian Cheese Mix
- 4 cups cooked pasta (Your choice of mostaccioli, penne or ziti. Start with a 1 lb bag of dry pasta.)
- non-stick spray
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Prepare the pasta according to package instructions. Cook to al dente.
- In a medium fry pan, fry the Italian sausage until cooked. Approximately 10 minutes. Set aside.
- Prepare your baking dish by spraying with non-stick spray.
- Begin layering in this order: starting with the Italian sausage, followed by the chopped tomatoes, basil, 1/2 cheese mix, and 3 cups of puttanesca sauce.
- Add a layer of cooked pasta, topped with the rest of the puttanesca sauce and the rest of the cheese mix.
- Place the baking dish on a cookie sheet to catch any drippings.
- Bake Layered Sausage Pasta Bake in the oven for approximately 45 minutes or until the cheese is lightly golden brown. Remove and let cool for 5 minutes.
- Serve hot with a side salad and crusty bread. Enjoy!