Recipe: The Perfect Pasta Bake

There are days when you just need something easy, delicious and comforting for dinner. This recipe is just that. It’s a basic baked pasta dish but what I’ve done is switched out a few ingredients to make it a little bit more interesting.

Ingredients:

3 Cups of Fusilli*

Salt

3 chorizo sausages(casings off meat hand shredded)

1 tbs olive oil

1 Spanish Onion diced

3 cloves of garlic diced

1 tbs of capers

100 g Fontina Cheese

50 g Pecorina Romano*

2 tbs finely chopped thyme leaves(fresh)

2 cans of peeled whole tomatoes (Crush these by hand in a mixing bowl to collect the juice)

Directions: In a sauce pan add olive oil heat on medium until it begins to smoke. Add Onions and garlic and sweat. Add hand shredded sausage meat and brown. Add the Thyme.  Add the tomato and juices and bring to a boil. Stir the sauce. Bring the sauce down to a simmer for 30 minutes. Add the capers and salt to taste. While the sauce is simmering bring a pot of salted water to boil. Add your fusilli and follow the directions(Usually 10-12 minutes.) Sample the pasta. You want it to be a little but chalky still, a bit before al dente. Strain the pasta and add the cooked pasta to the sauce. Stir and make sure your pasta is totally coated in the sauce. The starch from the pasta should thicken the sauce a bit after a minute or two. Then grab a pyrex baking dish and pour the pasta and sauce in. Then layer shredded Fontina Cheese on top. Put it into a oven preheated to 375. Keep an eye on the cheese. Once it is melted remove the dish from the oven and add a layer of the Pecorino on to of the fontina. Return to the over and wait for the cheese to get a nice golden brown crust on top. Remove from oven. Let it sit for about 10 minutes and serve. 

I like to garnish this with some basil leaves and serve it with a simple salad and vinaigrette. Enjoy.

*Fusilli Jerry? Lets see if more than one person gets that reference.

** Pecorino Romano is a cheap and high quality alternative to Parmesano Reggiano. I actually like it better for pastas like this because you don’t feel bad using a lot of it and it really gets a nice crispiness when baked.