Baked Pasta with Italian Sausage and Herbed Cannellini Beans
This hearty, Italian Nonna-style recipe is the definition of soul food. Presenting simple food that compliments tradition and at the same time honors artisan cheeses. Perfect for late winter dinners with friends or family; this combination of pasta, sausage, beans and true Italian flavorings are sure to please! The dish speaks to appetites of all ages, and can be adjusted to ones liking. Try substituting out the sausage for simple ground beef, chicken, or turkey. You can add bacon, a different type of bean, or a pasta shape of your choice. The ingredients like fennel, sun dried tomatoes and fresh herbs produce fresh flavor!
Total Cook Time: 45 minutes
Bella Products Used:
- 2 tbsp Bella Sun Luci Extra Virgin Olive oil
- 1 lbs Italian sausage, casing removed, medium hot style
- 2 tsp shallots, finely chopped
- 1 tsp garlic, finely chopped
- ¼ cup onions, small diced
- ¼ cup carrots, small diced
- ¼ cup fennel, small diced
- ½ tsp hot pepper flakes
- 2 tsp fresh oregano, chopped
- 1 tsp Fresh sage, chopped
- 14 oz Canned tomatoes, whole, peeled
- 1 - 8.5 oz Bella Sun Luci Sun Dried Tomatoes Julienne Cut, with Extra Virgin, drain and reserve olive oil
- 15 oz can Cannellini beans, drained and rinsed well
- 1 tsp Kosher salt
- ½ tsp black pepper, ground
- 8 oz Gemelli pasta, dried
- 4 oz Parmesan cheese, finely grated
- ⅓ cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
- 4 oz Provolone cheese, grated
- 2 oz Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled into chunks
- 4 each fresh oregano sprigs
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot using medium heat, add the Italian sausage and cook until the sausage is almost fully cooked. Using a slotted spoon remove the sausage from the pot and place onto absorbent paper towels.
- To the pot add the vegetables; sauté for about 4-5 minutes. Stir the vegetables occasionally using a wooden spoon. To the pot add the hot pepper flakes and half of the oregano and sage, cook about 30 seconds stirring with the spoon.
- Hand crush the tomatoes and place into the pot with the Bella Sun Luci sun dried tomatoes. Simmer the sauce for approximately 10 minutes using medium low heat. Add the cannellini beans, cooked Italian sausage, Kosher salt and black pepper, simmer for an additional 10 minutes.
- In a large pot of boiling salted water cook the Gemelli pasta until al dente following the package cooking instructions. Drain the pasta into a colander and add to the sun dried tomato sauce with a small quantity of the pasta cooking water.
- Stir into the pasta the remaining oregano and sage; add half of the parmesan cheese and half of the chopped parsley, gently stir to evenly combine all the ingredients.
- Lightly spray an oven proof baking pan with nonstick vegetable cooking spray. Pour the pasta into the pan. Garnish the top of the pasta with provolone cheese, remaining parmesan, chopped parsley and gorgonzola cheese
- Cover the baking pan with foil and bake in a 350 degree oven for approximately 20 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to bake for about 10-12 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and lightly browned.
- In the center of 4 decorative serving bowls attractively arrange the pasta.
- Garnish the top of each dish with a sprig of oregano and a light drizzle of the reserved olive oil from the Bella Sun Luci sun dried tomatoes. Serve and Enjoy!