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Cheesy Sausage and Penne Casserole

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Smoked sausage and cheese mingle in this crowd-pleasing Italian penne pasta bake. Delizioso!

Pasta shapes besides penne work in this casserole. Elbow macaroni, medium shells, radiatore, rotini and cavatappi are all fine choices.

We've used cooked, smoked sausage in this upscale macaroni and cheese to give it a subtle smoky flavor. Reduced-fat smoked sausage, turkey sausage or kielbasa sausage work, too.

Sub this topping for the Parmesan and Italian seasoning combo: 1/4 cup Progresso Italian-style bread crumbs and 1 tablespoon melted butter or margarine.

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Ingredients

  • 3 cups uncooked penne pasta (about 10 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine
  • 1/3 cup Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 cups milk
  • 2 cups shredded Italian-style cheese blend (8 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 8 ounces smoked sausage, sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
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Details

Servings 6
Preparation time 30mins
Cooking time 60mins

Preparation

Step 1

Heat oven to 350°.
Cook and drain pasta as directed on package.
While pasta is cooking, melt butter in 3-quart saucepan over low heat. Stir in flour, salt, 1/2 tea-spoon Italian seasoning, the pepper and garlic. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is smooth and bubbly; remove from heat. Stir in milk. Heat to boiling over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute; remove from heat. Stir in Italian cheese blend and 1/4 cup of the Parmesan cheese until melted.

Gently stir pasta and sausage into cheese sauce. Pour into ungreased 3-quart casserole. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese and 1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning. Bake uncovered about 30 minutes or until bubbly.

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