We eat a lot of veggies in this house, but recently I picked up a few pounds of bulk hot Italian sausage and I was jonesing for a meaty baked pasta dish. We don’t eat a lot of meat, so 1 pound for this recipe is a lot for us. If you are a big meat eater, you can add up to an extra pound of sausage to make it extra meaty.
This recipe makes a lot, but, it keeps well for leftovers and you can freeze leftovers as well.
Meaty Baked Pasta
1 box pasta (whatever variety you like best), cooked per package directions
1 lb. bulk Italian sausage
2 T. butter or oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 medium-sized zucchini, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 cloves of garlic, minced
32 oz of your favorite red pasta sauce
1 small can of tomato paste
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups mozzarella, divided
1 cup parmesan/romano blend cheese, divided
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
Cook pasta per directions, drain off the water, reserving 2-3 Tablespoons.
In a large pan, cook and crumble Italian sausage. After it is cooked, drain it on a paper towel.
Using the same pan, saute onion and pepper for 10-15 minutes, until the onions are clear and have started to caramelize.
Add in garlic, and cook until fragrant, about 3-5 minutes.
Add in zucchini, sauce, and tomato paste- cook until sauce comes to a simmer.
Add meat back in, and stir to combine.
Add reserved pasta water to the sauce and simmer for 2-3 minutes.
In a baking dish layer sauce, pasta, cheese, and sauce. Repeat until the baking dish is full and top with the remaining cheese.
Cover the baking dish with a lid or tented foil and bake for 45 minutes.
Remove the lid/foil and cook another 10-15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
Serve with a green salad and garlic bread!
This recipe made a 9×13 baking dish, which will serve 6-8 people a hearty portion.
If you need more veggies in your life, add carrots, drained diced petite tomatoes, more peppers, and even a few handfuls of spinach!
This meal was so satisfying. I’ve had leftovers for lunch twice now.
I ended up with extra sauce, and I plan on making calzones with it.
I saw a video online someplace (I want to say Facebook, but it could have been on Reddit too), and it showed how to make tomato bisque using freshly roasted tomatoes.
I was excited to try it since we’ve been getting tons of big tomatoes in our CSA box over the past two weeks and I had them sitting on the counter.
This recipe is simple, but it does involve a few steps and does take some time.
It’s worth it in my opinion.
Roasted Onion and Caramelized Onion Bisque
8-10 Tomatoes, tops cut off. If the tomatoes are not a uniform size, cut them in half /into large uniform hunks
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, diced
2 tablespoons avocado oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 can (approx 16 oz) chicken or veggie stock
1 Teaspoon each: Basil, Rosemary
1 bay leaf
1 cup half and half
dash red pepper flakes (optional)
Preheat Oven to 425 degrees. Place tomatoes/tomato hunks on an oiled-up baking sheet. Brush tomatoes with oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
Roast tomatoes for 35-45 minutes.
While tomatoes are roasting, melt butter in a stockpot, and over medium/low heat saute onions. in the last 10 minutes of cooking the onions, add the garlic and stir frequently to keep from burning. You will need to stir frequently.
Place tomatoes in with onions, and add stock, and all herbs/seasonings, EXCEPT the bay leaf and red pepper.
This is an easy recipe, and it is divine! You may already have most of the ingredients in your kitchen too!
It’s pretty flexible when it comes to the meat- You want a good roast with some marbling. Chuck Roast, Tri-tip, Round Roast, Rump Roast are all good options. This recipe cooks low and slow all day. Break out your slow cooker my friends!
In a heavy-bottomed cast-iron skillet or dutch oven, heat canola oil, add beef, and sear each side for 5-8 minutes. You want a nice brown crust on each side. If the piece is large, cut it in pieces to fit into your slow cooker.
As the meat is searing, in your slow cooker pour frozen vegetables.
In a mixing bowl, mix tomato sauce, salsa, and spices.
Place the meat in the slow cooker, and pour water into the pan that browned meat. Stir and scrape off any browned/burned bits off the bottom of the pan. Pour that water into the sauce bowl and mix thoroughly.
Pour sauce over meat and cook on low in the slow cooker for 10+hours.
Pull meat out, and shred with two forks. Return to the slow cooker, and keep simmering on low until the sides are ready to eat.
I serve this meat with beans, rice, tortillas, Corn and Avocado Salsa, and a green salad. It keeps well in the fridge for a few days, and you can freeze it as well. It’s also excellent in the morning with eggs in a breakfast burrito.
This recipe is dead simple. Make it as complicated as you want. Use jarred sauce, make your own from scratch, or take a jar of sauce and church it up yourself. Whatever.
Frozen pasta, fresh pasta, heck, you can even use the shell stable/dried tortellini. You could use ravioli if you wanted.
You can make this Vegetarian, Vegan, Chock Full o’ Meat, Gluten-Free, it’s up to you.
This is one of those recipes that’s a big hit at potlucks too. It’s pretty inexpensive, and we always have the ingredients in one form or another to make a batch.
6-8 cups of Red Pasta Sauce. I usually make a big batch of this sauce and portion some out just for this recipe. If you use jarred sauce, I recommend you add 3-4 cups of veggies (carrots, onions, celery, bell peppers, zucchini, chopped/diced tomatoes, etc.)
22-30 ounces of Tortellini/Ravioli, cooked per the package directions (this will probably take a couple packages)
2 Cups Italian Cheese blend
Cook the pasta per the package directions. Drain.
Pour pasta sauce into a baking dish (I use a 9×13), toss cooked pasta in sauce.
Sprinkle cheese on top.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30-ish minutes until food is bubbly, and cheese is brown and delicious looking.
Serve with hot French Bread or Garlic Bread and a green salad.
This serves 8-10 people as a main.
If you are vegan, substitute in filled pasta and cheese that works for you.