Baked Penne alla Vodka with sausage and ricotta coated in an amazing sauce is going to be your new best friend. Pasta that starts out on the stove and ends up in the oven. A great make ahead casserole to enjoy at home or take to a friend.
Prep Time: 20minutes
Cook Time: 1hour30minutes
1lbsweet Italian sausage
1lbhot Italian sausage
4cupsonions(thinly sliced, about 2-3 onions)
¼cupfresh basil(thinly sliced)
2 16ouncecans canned whole tomatoes(crushed with their juice)
1 ½cupsmozzarella cheese(grated)
Preheat oven to 350º.
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large dutch oven or deep skillet over high heat. Remove casing from sausages and add to pan breaking apart as they cook. Cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Add onions and ¾ teaspoon salt and pepper. Cook an additional 4 minutes until onions have softened. Add basil and garlic and cook for an additional minute. Add vodka and tomatoes and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally for 40 minutes. Add thyme, cayenne and heavy cream, stir to combine and simmer for 5 minutes.
While cooking, cook pasta with olive oil and salt until al dente. Drain.
In a large bowl combine half of the ricotta cheese and half of the parmesan and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the pasta and toss to coat. Add the sausage mixture and mix well. Add the remaining ricotta and parmesan and mix well. Pour into a 9 x 13 inch baking dish and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Bake until bubbly and golden, about 45 minutes.