Baked Italian Pasta
1 box penne or ziti (1 lb)
2 jars (26 oz) spaghetti sauce of choice or you can optionally make your own
12 ounces shredded 6 cheese Italian blend (or mozzarella)
grated parmesan cheese
5 Hot Italian Sausages
2 green peppers
2 medium sized fresh tomatoes (optional)
Crushed red pepper (optional)
Fresh basil (optional)
Cook the penne for approx. 9-11 minutes in boiling water (almost fully cooked but not quite). At the same time cook the Italian sausage until it also almost fully cooked then slice into small circles Chop vegetables to desired size (leave somewhat chunky).
Drain penne and place a 1 noodle deep layer of penne on the bottom of a 13 x 9 1/2 casserole dish. Cover with half the sausage, vegetables, cheese, and sauce. Evenly layer the rest of the penne on top of the bottom layer. Place the rest of the vegetables, sausage, sauce and cheese (put the cheese on top) on top of the second layer of noodles. Top with Parmesan cheese and fresh basil (optional) Cover and Bake at 350 degrees F for 35-55 minutes (depending on how well cooked/soft you like the vegetables). Enjoy with a good Chianti or other red wine.