Baked Pasta with Chicken Sausage
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3/4 pound fresh sweet Italian sausage (I use chicken, but feel free to use pork)
- 1/2 onion, diced
- Kosher salt
- 1 fat clove garlic, peeled and smashed
- Handful basil leaves
- 4 cups chopped tomatoes (fresh or canned)
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
- 1/4 cup ricotta cheese
- 1 cups grated mozzarella
- 1 pound short pasta (I like penne or conchiglie)
- 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cubed
Adapted from food52.com
1. Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a medium heavy saucepan until shimmering. Remove the sausage from the casings and add it to the pan, breaking it up into small pieces with a wooden spoon. Brown the sausage well, stirring a couple times, about 5 minutes.
2. Create a hole in the middle of the pan and add the onion and a pinch of salt. Cook until softened, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the tomatoes and the basil and stir well to combine. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook until the sauce thickens and the flavors meld, at least 30 minutes. Taste and add salt if necessary. Remove the basil leaves and set the sauce aside.
3. Heat the oven to 500 °F and butter a 2-quart baking dish. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
4. In a mixing bowl, combine the sausage sauce with the rest of the ingredients, except the pasta and butter. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and stir well.
5. Drop the pasta into the boiling water and cook for 4 minutes. Drain well and add to the mixing bowl, tossing gently to combine everything.
6. Spread the pasta evenly into the baking dish. Dot evenly with the butter, and bake until bubbly and brown, 7 to 10 minutes. Cool for a few minutes before serving.