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Baked Penne with Italian Sausage in White Cheese Sauce

Started 1370389240.833 in Recipe Swap | Last reply 1386006545.267 by Beebee2

On vacation we ate at a wonderful little Italian restaurant in downtown Santa Barbara. They served a marvellous baked ziti in a white sauce. I searched for a similar recipe to no avail, but recently found something I could adapt, and we are more than pleased with it. I prefer it with penne. This dish is extremely rich, very flavorful and is halved easily for an 8" baking dish. I serve it with sliced fresh tomatoes and plain steamed broccoli. Although Italian white sauce doesn't seem to be the most common, there are some out there. :)


Beebee's Baked Penne with Italian Sausage in White Cheese Sauce

1 lb pkg penne
4 T salad oil
1 lb sweet or hot Italian sausage

Sauce:
1/2 c butter
1/2 c flour
1 t salt or less; start with less; the dish is salty because of cheese/sausage
1 t white pepper
4 c milk
1/2 c grated Parmesan cheese
3-4 cloves garlic, pressed or minced very fine

Cheese Layer:
1 1/2 lb cottage cheese
1/2 c grated Parmesan cheese
2 eggs
2 T basil
Salt and pepper
1/2 lb Mozzarella cheese, grated
Paprika

Remove Italian sausage from casing and brown in skillet until there is a little crust on some of it. With a potato masher, or other comparable tool, keep mashing and separating the sausage into tiny bits. Remove to double thickness of paper towels, and drain.

Cook penne as directed and drain.

To make sauce, melt butter in medium saucepan, when the foam disappears, add garlic and cook for a minute or so more; remove from heat. Stir in flour, salt and pepper until smooth. Gradually stir in milk. Bring to boiling, stirring. Reduce heat; simmer 1 minute. Remove from heat. Stir in 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese.

In bowl, combine ziti, browned sausage, and sauce.

To make cheese layer; in medium bowl, combine cottage cheese, Parmesan, eggs, basil, salt and pepper; mix well.

In bottom of 9 x 13 inch baking dish, spoon half the penne sauce mixture. Layer with cheese mixture. Spoon on remaining penne sauce mixture. Sprinkle with grated Mozzarella and paprika. Bake uncovered 35 to 40 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Makes 10 servings.



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bigkat1370390500.1733929 PostsRegistered 2/4/2010West Michigan

Sounds yummy Beebee! I think I could eat pasta every day! Thanks for sharing.

denisemb1370390998.68689 PostsRegistered 12/7/2012FL

Ooooh, sounds great - thanks!

LouisianaA­nn1370395563.253464 PostsRegistered 3/24/2010

Please pardon my drool, Beebee2! I will make this very soon. Thank you!!

Carol12291370400507.5771782 PostsRegistered 12/20/2010

HOOOOOOOO boy.........Beebee I don't know whether to hug you or put you on the naughty step in time out for sharing this one............aw heck, I'll save ya a seat on my step if you'll bring this pasta dish-I'll bring the wine and we'll PARTY HEARTY!!!!!!!!!! {#emotions_dlg.w00t}

This looks SO good.........thank you so much for sharing it-what a great dish to share with friends.

Carol

luvsbulldo­gs1370451394.2572119 PostsRegistered 10/6/2004

Beebee...... this sounds really good. Thank you for posting this recipe. I have copied it and will definitely be making it.

Beebee21370453365.943927 PostsRegistered 5/31/2009

bigkat, denisemb, LouisianaAnn, Carol, luvsbulldogs,

Your posts made me smile. Taking a clue from each of you, it is great and yummy, you may drool, and I should be put on the ‘naughty step, and I’m pleased you’ll definitely be making it.


It is big flavor and big part of that is the distribution of the tiny bits of Italian sausage throughout the casserole; that was the thing about the Santa Barbara casserole I mentioned that made it so yummy, too, imo.


If you make it, please let me know how it turned out. I’ll mention again the salt thing. At some point I put a little too much in mine. It was still quite edible, but I don’t like a strong salty flavor, so will be more careful next time. (My mistake was probably overdoing it at the salt and pepper point where I didn’t specify an amount.)
Anyway, bon appetite, all!

Last edited on 6/5/2013

Last edited on 6/5/2013

Carol12291370463761.521782 PostsRegistered 12/20/2010

Well Beebee-I'm a permanent resident on the naughty step and would LOVE some company. I think my step is about ready to break from overuse. I will say though-parties there are THE BEST! Wink

Thanks again for sharing this recipe-and thanks for the heads up on the salt-I will add that note to my copy. I don't use much salt but we're BIG pepper fans here.

Have a good one!

Carol

cookie51370602658.1373508 PostsRegistered 11/15/2007Texas Hill Country

Beebee ~ I made this Wednesday night and there were no leftovers! Everyone loved it. We had the neighbor and her 2 kids over as well. It was delicious! I didn't have any Penne, so I used Tortelini and mixed the cottage cheese with some ricotta (didn't have enough cottage cheese) Thank you!!!

I may not be right, but I am never wrong

Beebee21370621601.463927 PostsRegistered 5/31/2009
On 6/7/2013 cookie5 said:

Beebee ~ I made this Wednesday night and there were no leftovers! Everyone loved it. We had the neighbor and her 2 kids over as well. It was delicious! I didn't have any Penne, so I used Tortelini and mixed the cottage cheese with some ricotta (didn't have enough cottage cheese) Thank you!!!

Cookie, I'm so glad this was a hit. Thanks for letting me know. The tortelini substitution sounds interesting; it makes an even richer dish. I'm sure the neighbors had a big smile on their faces as they 'waddled' home. I know I did when I 'waddled' away from the dinner table. :)

Carol and all, best wishes for a great weekend!

wendydarli­ng1370725597.423646 PostsRegistered 1/15/2009

Beebee, I'm starting this right now. What does it bake at? 350 degrees? Thanks!

Beebee21370731420.7433927 PostsRegistered 5/31/2009
On 6/8/2013 wendydarling said:

Beebee, I'm starting this right now. What does it bake at? 350 degrees? Thanks!

Yes, wendydarling, it does bake at 350 deg F. I'm sorry I didn't include that and hope

I'm not too late - but it sounds like you figured it out. Smile

wendydarli­ng1370733118.007646 PostsRegistered 1/15/2009

Beebee2, everyone's eating it right now. The family usually prefers red sauce on pasta but i myself prefer white sauce.

I did bake it at 350 but made a mistake as i almost always do the first time i try a new recipe. I put the mozzarella into the cheese mixture instead of sprinkling it over the top at the end so i had to use more cheese at the end for the top. BUt everyone seems to be enjoying it! Thank you for sharing!

Beebee21370739136.1333927 PostsRegistered 5/31/2009
On 6/8/2013 wendydarling said:

Beebee2, everyone's eating it right now. The family usually prefers red sauce on pasta but i myself prefer white sauce.

I did bake it at 350 but made a mistake as i almost always do the first time i try a new recipe. I put the mozzarella into the cheese mixture instead of sprinkling it over the top at the end so i had to use more cheese at the end for the top. BUt everyone seems to be enjoying it! Thank you for sharing!

I often do the same thing, wendy - make a mistake the first time around; it's nice when it doesn't matter too much. Thanks for letting me know and I'm glad they're enjoying it.

Knit-Chick1370889214.423828 PostsRegistered 12/29/2007Northeast Ohio

Beebee, thanks for sharing! I made this yesterday. I had leftover sweet Italian sausage that I just chopped up and used in the recipe. It was very good. It's nice to have a baked pasta dish without tomato sauce. Thanks again!

Beebee21370890520.0173927 PostsRegistered 5/31/2009
On 6/10/2013 Knit-Chick said:

Beebee, thanks for sharing! I made this yesterday. I had leftover sweet Italian sausage that I just chopped up and used in the recipe. It was very good. It's nice to have a baked pasta dish without tomato sauce. Thanks again!

You're welcome, Knit-Chick. I'm glad you enjoyed it and I feel the same as you; it's nice to have a baked pasta dish without tomato sauce. thanksj for the feedbacvk!

cece52311372592098.413364 PostsRegistered 1/5/2012
Hi Beebee2. When our ladies club came to our house for brunch several weeks ago, this is what I served along with an antipasto salad and crusty bread. It was a hit! Not only did they ask for the recipe, but leftovers too. This recipe is a keeper for sure. Thanks for sharing it. I might add, our club is a high school group that stays forever young. We think we look and certainly act the same as we did 50 years ago. Obviously, our eyes deceive us.

Beebee21372600488.6773927 PostsRegistered 5/31/2009
On 6/30/2013 cece5231 said: Hi Beebee2. When our ladies club came to our house for brunch several weeks ago, this is what I served along with an antipasto salad and crusty bread. It was a hit! Not only did they ask for the recipe, but leftovers too. This recipe is a keeper for sure. Thanks for sharing it. I might add, our club is a high school group that stays forever young. We think we look and certainly act the same as we did 50 years ago. Obviously, our eyes deceive us.

Cece, thanks for sharing this! I'm really tickled about the whole thing. I've recently just caught up with my high school friends (they're in St. Louis; we're in SoCal). After decades of all of us travelling and moving around, they're all back in Missouri, but we're still here. They get together every six weeks or so, and I'm going back to be with them later this year. I can hardly wait. But we'll be eating in a restaurant! Anyway, best wishes to you and all your friends and thanks again.

Classylady1372634913.3372251 PostsRegistered 10/6/2004

Thanks BeeBee2. This is one I will be making soon. We love hot Italian sausage, penne and cheese sauce. WHAT'S NOT TO LIKE THERE???? I keep all of these in-house all the time.

Beebee21372637916.8833927 PostsRegistered 5/31/2009
On 6/30/2013 Classylady said:

Thanks BeeBee2. This is one I will be making soon. We love hot Italian sausage, penne and cheese sauce. WHAT'S NOT TO LIKE THERE???? I keep all of these in-house all the time.

You are welcome, Classlady. I just noticed that I referred to the penne as ziti near the end of the recipe; either one will work great. Enjoy!

Rarity1372637984.0231791 PostsRegistered 10/19/2005

This one sounds like a keeper--thanks alot!!!

quilting1372763363.93161 PostsRegistered 3/22/2010

Thanks Beebee2 this recipe is great! It took me a few days to get to it, as the weather has been unbearable....very hot and humid. Well it still is humid and I just bit the bullet and had it for dinner last night. You are right it is very rich.

I would like to know if you could freeze half or even divide the portion in quarters, before it is baked, and then just bake for a longer time after it is frozen. Has anyone done this before? I know I can freeze portions after it is baked, but the pasta will lose some of it's firmness. I have done that with leftover lasagne. Any suggestions Beebee2, or anyone else out there?

rae smith1372766995.553452 PostsRegistered 6/17/2010

Beebee2 - Copied your recipe to use when family comes to visit...but maybe I shouldn't wait and try it out now just to be sure I've got it right!

How fun to reconnnect with old friends. Since you are from STL, I have to ask 'the' question. Where did you go to high school? Smile

Beebee21372781587.9073927 PostsRegistered 5/31/2009

quilting, I'm waiting for someone with the 'straight skinny' to answer your freezing question. I've not frozen pasta dishes, either baked or unbaked - except for lasagna - and I just don't know. Someone else will. :)

rae smith, I graduated from Kirkwood High School, but I spent even more time at Brentwood. Are you a St L county girl, too?

gubby11372782652.3371554 PostsRegistered 4/13/2010puget sound

I keep trying to forget about this recipe..and here it is again! I am a sucker for anything with a white sauce. I feel myself caving in...!!! Sounds so delicious Beebee!

Helen471372785023.35992 PostsRegistered 10/23/2008San Diego, CA.
Hi Beebee2! What a great recipe.....I know I'm going to try it! We will be in Santa Barbara in a couple weeks for my birthday. Do you know the name of the restaurant you ate at? THANK YOU! Helen

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