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Indian Lakes Resort Pasta e Fagioli Casserole

1 pound Italian sausage (mild or hot)
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon hot pepper flakes
1 (28 ounce) can tomatoes, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 (19 ounce) can Romano or kidney beans, drained and rinsed
Salt and pepper
5 cups penne pasta (1 pound)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 pound Fontina or provolone cheese, shredded

Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a 9 x 13-inch glass baking dish.

Remove casings from sausage. In large skillet over medium-high heat, cook sausage (crumbling with fork), onion, carrot, celery, garlic, oregano, basil and hot pepper flakes until sausage is browned.

Add tomatoes and tomato paste; simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in beans, and salt and pepper to taste; cook for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta just until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain and combine with tomato mixture, half of the Parmesan cheese and half of the parsley. Transfer to prepared dish. (If making ahead, cool slightly. )

Sprinkle with Fontina cheese and remaining Parmesan and parsley. (Pasta can be prepared to this point, covered and refrigerated for up to 1 day or frozen for up to 2 months.

Thaw in refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before heating. )

Bake, covered for 20 minutes; uncover and bake for 10-15 minutes or until bubbly.

Serves 8.

Nutrition values per serving: 453 calories, 29 g fat, 26 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 22 g protein, 81 mg cholesterol, 811 mg sodium