This Italian pasta bake recipe tastes like you fussed, but this recipe is definitely no fuss! One night I did not feel like going through the steps to make my usual lasagna but still wanted something quick and easy. I threw this together and not only is a hit but it’s easy on the budget. You can make a little or a lot. When our son and daughter were younger it was the perfect meal because it provided lunches the next day for school. Pasta, cheese, sauce, and Italian sausage. What’s not to love? But that can be just a starting point! You can add meatballs, chicken, make it vegetarian, or whatever you like.
Browning the sausage
We usually get sausage from the local store. They make a great Italian sausage! I buy it in the casing and take the meat out of the sausage. Estimate a tablespoon size piece and place it in a large skillet. Flatten it with a spatula so it browns a bit faster. I have found they layer better when flattened. There is no reason that you couldn’t get bulk sausage and go from there.
The pasta choice is up to you. I made sure to cook the pasta al dente because of the cooking time in the oven. Over boil the pasta and it will get mushy in the oven. Ziti or small rigatoni work best for my family. The pasta is substantial without taking up the whole baking dish. But I’m open to any pasta with this recipe!
Variations on the bake
There are many variations to this dish. I have made this Italian Pasta Bake Recipe with mushrooms, onions and roasted peppers. A perfect vegetarian dinner. I have layered provolone and pepperoni in the pasta bake recipe also. I bought the provolone in slices and it added a great thick layer of cheese in the middle. No one complained about that! Lastly I have added pesto when serving the pasta bake. My family are big pesto fans and they loved it.
The choice, as always, is up to you. Make it your own!
The Italian pasta bake recipe goes great with the strawberry almond salad!
Italian Pasta Bake Recipe
- 1 1/3 pounds of Italian sausage
- 24 ounce jar of your favorite pasta sauce
- 12 ounce box of farfalle pasta
- 1 cup of Parmesan divided
- 3 cups of mozzarella divided
- Brown sausage in a large skillet.
- Boil pasta until al dente.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Pour 1/2 of the pasta sauce into the bottom and spread evenly. Next spread 1/2 of the cooked pasta, 1/2 of the browned sausage, 1/2 of the Parmesan and 1/2 the mozzarela. All should be spread evenly.
- Repeat the first layer.
- Cover and bake at 350 degrees
- F for 45 minutes. Bake an additional 5-10 minutes uncovered or until cheese is golden brown.