Baked Pasta with Sausage & Mascarpone
Note: Use mild Italian sausage in this dish, but, if you like a little heat, feel free to use spicy Italian. I also use Baby Bella mushrooms, but you could use a combination of mushrooms, or even button mushrooms if you prefer. It is best to use a short-dried pasta for this dish such as penne, rigatoni, fusilli, or pasta shells.
- 5 TBL Olive oil, divided
- 1 lb. Bulk DioGuardi’s Italian sausage
- 8 oz. fresh Baby Bella mushrooms, sliced
- 1/3 cup finely chopped onion
- 3 medium cloves garlic, minced
- 16 oz. mascarpone cheese DioGuardi’s
- ½ cup whole milk
- ¼ cup finely chopped fresh parsley
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pound pasta of choice such as penne, rigatoni, fusilli, or pasta shells DioGuardi’s
- 1/3 cup coarse breadcrumbs
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese DioGuardi’s
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, heat 2 TBL olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat until slightly smoking, and add the sausage meat. Cook until the meat is no longer pink, about 5 minutes, breaking it up with a fork as it cooks. Add the onions, mushrooms, and garlic and cook, stirring often, until the onions are
translucent and the mushrooms are lightly browned, about 6 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and add the
mascarpone cheese, and milk. Stir to mix well, and continue to cook until the mixture is thick, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and keep warm.
Adjust an oven rack to the center positon and preheat oven to 375º. Cook the pasta in the boiling water, removing it two to three minutes less than the recommended cooking time. It should still retain a slightly raw bite in the center. Reserve a small cup of pasta water, drain, and return pasta to the pot. Toss the pasta with mushroom and sausage sauce. If the sauce is very thick add about 1/4 cup of the pasta water to loosen.
In a small bowl, combine breadcrumbs, parsley, parmesan, and remaining 3 TBL olive oil, rubbing the oil into the crumbs with your fingertips.
Transfer the pasta to a 13 by 9 inch casserole dish (or 6 smaller ones) and sprinkle the crumb topping over the pasta. Bake until the pasta is bubbly and top is golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Sere immediately.