Springtime Sausage Pasta Bake

This is a fresh and comforting make-ahead dinner that you can throw together in about 30 minutes.

Feeds 4

Ingredients

4 good quality sausages, casings removed
Olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, finely minced
3 medium courgettes (zucchini), halved lengthwise and sliced into 1 cm pieces
Salt and pepper
2 x 14oz tinned chopped tomatoes
Pinch of dried chilli flakes
Large handful of basil leaves, roughly chopped
300g dried penne
250g grated mozzarella cheese (I buy packets of the pre-grated stuff)
2 handfuls of finely grated parmesan cheese
½ cup fresh breadcrumbs

Method:

Place a large frying pan over medium heat. Add a drizzle of olive oil and the sausage meat, then use a wooden spoon to break it up. Cook until brown, stirring often and continuing to break up the meat.

Add the minced garlic and cook for a minute, then add the chopped courgettes with a big pinch of salt and pepper. Cook down for about 10 minutes, or until the courgettes are lightly golden and starting to soften.

Add the chopped tomatoes along with a small swill of water used to rinse out the cans. Add the chilli flakes and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes to reduce the sauce down a little. Turn off the heat and add the chopped basil.

Meanwhile, boil the pasta in rolling, salted water until cooked just under al dente. Drain the pasta but don’t shake it dry, then immediately add the pasta to the sauce and stir well to combine.

To assemble, add half the pasta mixture to a baking dish. Sprinkle over half the grated mozzarella and parmesan. Add the rest of the pasta mixture, then top with the remaining cheeses.

Make ahead: Pasta can be assembled up to this stage 24hr in advance. Cover and keep refrigerated.

To bake, preheat the oven to 375F / 190C / 175C Fan.

Just before baking, mix the breadcrumbs with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Sprinkle over the top of the pasta, then bake, uncovered, for 35 – 40 minutes or until golden brown. Serve.

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