Baked Angel Hair Pasta With Tomato Artichoke Sauce

This meal was sort of a different take on a baked spaghetti.  It turned out pretty good though my boys only wanted the sausage and nothing to do with the noodles.  You can’t win them all!  I used a great all natural mild Italian chicken sausage that I found at Costco for the recipe. The sauce was delicious and easy to make as well.  I think it is one that I will just try putting in front of the boys again sometime to try to get them to eat it.

Side note – I didn’t originally plan to puree the sauce for this recipe. However, after simmering it, it seemed a bit too chunky for what I was hoping it would be.  Because of that, I realized after the fact that that this would be an easy recipe to add some additional hidden veggies into.  You could easily add some carrots, spinach, or cauliflower into the sauce as you cook it. Since you are pureeing it, no one would be the wiser!

IMG_0572

Baked Angel Hair Pasta with Tomato Artichoke Sauce

6 links all natural chicken mild Italian sausage
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
1/4 c. chopped fresh parsley
3 tsp. fresh minced garlic
1 tsp. dried basil
5 large tomatoes, chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
2 – 6 oz. jars marinated artichoke hearts, chopped
salt/pepper to taste
1 lb. whole wheat angle hair pasta
1/2 c. fresh mozzarella, cut into small pieces

Instructions:

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add onion, celery, parsley, and garlic. Saute for 5-6 minutes or until vegetables become tender. Add tomatoes, bell pepper, artichokes, and basil. Stir and season with salt/pepper to taste. Reduce heat to medium low and cover. Simmer for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Place sauce in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth consistency.

Meanwhile, heat a large pot of water to boiling. Cook pasta until al dente, no more than 3 minutes. Drain and toss with pasta sauce.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a casserole dish, place sausages and cook in oven for 15-20 minutes or until hot/cooked through. Remove from the oven. Set sausages aside. Place pasta into pan and top with sausage. Return to the oven and bake another 20 minutes or until it begins to get just a bit crispy on top.

Add cheese to top and bake for another 5 minutes until cheese is melted. Remove from oven and serve hot.

Husband Rating: 6 out of 10

Food for Thought: This recipe would easily work as a freezer meal.  I would cook the meal through layering it all into the casserole dish.  Then, allow it to cool, cover it, and freeze.  Simply pop in the oven and bake until hot.

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