Monday, February 22, 2010

When You Just Want Dinner for 2

I love having left-overs waiting for me but our fridge is getting a bit full so I wanted to make something that we could finish in one night. I had some sausage and mushrooms that needed to be used up so I thought I'd make individual baked pasta bowls. These were so yummy with the golden crunchy tops and cheesy insides. I love how cute these are and they bake up in half the time it would take for a big pan. Now I just need to figure out what to do with everything else in the fridge!

Ingredients: (2 servings)

1/2 c dried pasta (I used penne)
2 hot Italian sausages, casings removed
1 Tbsp olive oil, plus more for greasing bowls
1 small onion, chopped
1 c sliced fresh mushrooms
1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
1 tsp dried Italian Seasoning
1/2 c heavy cream
1/2 c shredded Mozzarella cheese
1/4 c grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
1/4 c fresh breadcrumbs (1 slice of sandwich bread)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Oil 2 baking ramekins (10 to 12 oz); set aside.

2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta, and cook according to package directions, draining pasta 1 minute before it is al dente. Do not rinse.

3. Meanwhile, place a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage meat, breaking it up with a wooden spoon. Cook until cooked through and browned. Remove meat from the skillet with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel. Set aside.

4. Drain excess fat from skillet and add olive oil. Add the onions and mushrooms; cook over medium heat until brown. Stir in tomato sauce and seasoning; bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 3-5 minutes.

5. Stir in cream, hot drained pasta, cooked sausage meat and mozzarella until coated with tomato sauce.

6. Transfer mixture to prepared baking bowls. Scatter breadcrumbs and Parmigiano over top. Bake in the center of oven for 15-20 minutes, or until top is bubbly and browned. Cool 5 minutes before serving.

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