A quick, delicious dinner for those busy weeknights everybody has. It takes the classic combo of pasta, red sauce, and sausage to a whole new level. I loved the tasty little pockets of cream cheese and sour cream, and the melted cheese made it even better. Homemade marinara sauce would be a great addition, if you have time,but even without, my family gobbled it up and the leftovers were great. Pair with a big green salad and garlic bread for a great family dinner.
Cheesy Sausage Penne
1 pound bulk Italian sausage 1 medium onion, chopped 2 garlic cloves, minced 1 26-ounce jar spaghetti sauce 1 16-ounce package uncooked penne pasta 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened * (Next time I'll use 4 oz. cream cheese and 1/2 cup sour cream) 1 cup sour cream 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a large skillet, cook the sausage over medium heat until meat is no longer pink. Add the onion and cook until translucent. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Drain. Stir in spaghetti sauce; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Taste for seasoning and add salt, pepper, and spices to taste.
3. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the cream cheese and sour cream.
4. In a greased shallow 3-quart baking dish, layer half of the pasta and sausage mixture. Dollop with half the cream cheese mixture; sprinkle with half the cheddar cheese. Repeat layers.
5. Bake, uncovered, for 30 to 35 minutes or until bubbly. *Cooks Note: Although I loved the cream cheese/sour cream combo, my kids weren't huge fans and it seemed like there was a lot of it. Next time I"ll half the cream cheese and sour cream to better suit our tastes.