Pasta and Sausage Bake
This is a great recipe from Smitten Kitchen, one of my favorite food blogs. Perfect for this cool weather we are having: comforting and hearty without being too rich.
Instead of the suggestion of using 1-1/2 times the bechamel and cheese to get more sauce, I halved the amount of pasta. I do this frequently with pasta recipes that I make because I always like them on the saucy side rather than firm. Broccoli rabe was also not available at Shoprite and the broccolini looked terrible, so I used brocolli, the other suggestion from Deb. Besides these two things, I followed the recipe exact.
Pasta and Sausage Bake (adapted from Baked Pasta with Broccoli Rabe and Sausage)
8 ounces of Campanelle pasta
8 ounces of brocolli florets, cut into skinny florets
1 pound of italian sweet sausage, casings removed (I really like Hannaford Nature’s Place All Natural Sweet Italian Pork sausage)
2 ounces of parmesan cheese, grated (Stella is my favorite brand)
6 ounces Mozzarella, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 cups whole milk
4 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 garlic cloves, minced
pinch of ground nutmeg
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
Canola oil spray, a glass 9 x 13 inch baking dish.
Bring a large pot of water to boil, adding about 1 teaspoon of salt. Cook pasta according to the directions on the box. Remove pasta with a slotted spoon and place in a large bowl. Add broccoli to the same pot of water and boil for 4-5 minutes. Remove broccoli with a slotted spoon to the same bowl with the pasta. Drain water from pot and dry pot.
Place about a tablespoon of olive oil in the same pot you cooked the pasta and broccoli, over medium heat. Break up the sausage with 2 forks and cook sausage until browned. Remove sausage with slotted spoon into bowl with pasta and broccoli. Clean out fat from pan with paper towels.
Melt butter in the same pot over medium heat. Add flour, whisking together until smooth. Cook for about 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add about a 1/4 cup of milk to flour/butter mixture, whisking constantly until smooth. Then gradually add the rest of the milk, stirring constantly. Add salt, garlic and nutmeg. Bring the mixture to a very low simmer and cook, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes.
Add the sauce to the bowl with the pasta, broccoli and sausage. Add mozzarella and parmesan cheese and stir gently until thoroughly combined. Pour into prepared pan and bake for about 20 minutes until slightly browned.
this is how small the broccoli should be:
pasta, broccoli and sausage in large bowl:
mozzarella and parmesan cheeses:
melted butter and flour, cooking for one minute:
after adding the milk and cooking:
putting everything into the bowl and stirring to combine:
into the baking dish:
ready to serve: