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Bake Pasta with a Twist

Updated on November 15, 2015
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Efficient Admin (a.k.a. Michelle) enjoys healthy cooking, and she has all of her salad and stew recipes memorized.

Baked Pasta with a Twist

Pasta, sausage, vegetables, sauce.  This is some good eating, especially in cooler weather.  This dish also freezes well.
Pasta, sausage, vegetables, sauce. This is some good eating, especially in cooler weather. This dish also freezes well. | Source

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A Twist With a Pop of Flavor

It's amazing how the combination of such simple ingredients can provide such a powerful flavor. The twist in this recipe is the addition of tomato paste which provides a real pop in flavor.

The addition of peas and carrots adds color and makes a wonderful hearty dish for those colder days, and it tastes even better the next day once all the flavors meld together overnight. Serve with a side garden salad.

To sliver the carrots, take a vegetable peeler and just peel away (see photo below of slivered carrots). If you are short on time, this is a dish you can put together ahead of time and then bake the next day.

Several times in the past I have portioned off small servings of this dish into freezer-safe containers and froze them for a later time. Once this frozen dish was defrosted and reheated the big flavor was still there, so this is a freezer friendly recipe.

With the combination of the sausage and the pasta, you don’t need a large serving to fill you up, making it perfect for brown bagging during the week, or if you want a little something to eat before a big night on the town. Eating carrots, peas, and onions have benefits which are also explained below.

All comments are welcomed and please feel free to rate this dish.


The Benefits of Eating Carrots

In Chinese medicine, carrots are used to stimulate the elimination of wastes and to dissolve gallstones and ancient Greeks drank carrot juice as an aphrodisiac. In the West carrot juice is known by herbalists for diuretic action and as a treatment for heartburn. Carrots are one of the richest known sources of beta carotene. This antioxidant has the ability to soak up and make harmless the dangerous by-products of metabolism and pollution known as free radicals, which are believed to be able to damage cells and start cancer.

The traditional belief that eating carrots can help you see better at night is well founded. Night blindness is usually due to a lack of the substance visual purple, which requires beta carotene for its formation. The beta carotene in carrots will help to ensure that visual purple can be produced.

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Cook Time

Prep time: 25 min
Cook time: 20 min
Ready in: 45 min
Yields: Serves 8 people

Prepare Pasta

Step 2.  Prepare pasta according to package instructions. I like al dente which is usually 9 minutes of cook time.
Step 2. Prepare pasta according to package instructions. I like al dente which is usually 9 minutes of cook time. | Source

Slivered Carrots

Step 3.  To make slivered carrots, take a vegetable peeler and start peeling away.
Step 3. To make slivered carrots, take a vegetable peeler and start peeling away. | Source

Ingredients

  • 8 oz box Elbow macaroni
  • 1 lb Mild Italian Sausage
  • 1 medium Onion, diced
  • 2 Carrots, slivered
  • 2 cups Peas
  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 TBSP Tomato Paste
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
  • 2 cans (14.5 oz each) Petit-diced tomatoes with basil, oregano, and parsley
  • 1/8 cup Dried Basil (or 1/4 chopped fresh basil)
  • Cooking Spray
  • 2 cups Mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Combining the Ingredients

Step 3.  Remove casings from sausage. Dice the onion, mince the garlic, sliver the carrots. Cook sausage, onion, garlic, and slivered carrots over medium heat until sausage is browned. Stir to crumble.
Step 3. Remove casings from sausage. Dice the onion, mince the garlic, sliver the carrots. Cook sausage, onion, garlic, and slivered carrots over medium heat until sausage is browned. Stir to crumble. | Source

Combine Pasta, sausage mixture, tomatoes and stir

Step 5.  Combine pasta, cooked sausage mixture, basil, and peas and stir mixture real good.
Step 5. Combine pasta, cooked sausage mixture, basil, and peas and stir mixture real good. | Source

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Cook pasta according to directions. Leave out salt and fat. Drain pasta and set aside. I always go for 9 minutes for al dente.
  3. Remove casings from sausage. Dice the onion, mince the garlic, sliver the carrots. Cook sausage, onion, garlic, and slivered carrots over medium heat until sausage is browned. Stir to crumble.
  4. Add the tomato paste, salt, pepper, and diced tomatoes; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes, stirring at least once.
  5. Combined cooked pasta, peas, sausage mixture, and basil. Place half of the mixture in a 9 x 13 casserole dish sprayed with the cooking spray. Top this half with ½ cup of the parmesan cheese, and 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese. Place the other half of the pasta mixture on top of that. Then top with the remaining ½ cup parmesan cheese, and the remaining 1 cup mozzarella.
  6. Bake at 350°F for about 20 minutes or until bubbly.

Before and After the Oven

Step 5.  Take half of the pasta mixture and put into the baking dish.  Then layer the cheese on top. Then take the remaining pasta mixture and put on top. Then layer the remaining cheese.  This is what it looks like before the oven.
Step 5. Take half of the pasta mixture and put into the baking dish. Then layer the cheese on top. Then take the remaining pasta mixture and put on top. Then layer the remaining cheese. This is what it looks like before the oven. | Source
Step 6.  Bake at 350°F for about 20 minutes or until bubbly.
Step 6. Bake at 350°F for about 20 minutes or until bubbly. | Source

If you love pasta and sausage together, this is some good eating!

Source

CAUTION: Legumes contain proteins called lectins. If legumes are eaten undercooked, the lectins can cause vomiting and diarrhea. The lectins are destroyed by boiling the legumes for ten minutes.

The Benefits of Eating Peas (Legume)

Fresh peas are part of the legume family and are a good source of vitamin C and also supply iron, carotenes, and B vitamins. Dried split peas are used in soups. The key benefits of legumes include a decrease in heart disease, helps control blood sugar levels, may lower the risk of certain cancers, and help maintain the correct levels of iron and calcium in the body.

In Chinese medicine, legumes are believed to be good for the kidneys because of their diuretic properties. Studies have revealed that when people who have high levels of blood fat and cholesterol add legumes to their diet, these levels decrease. It is therefore possible that a diet rich in legumes could help in decreasing heart disease. It is possible that the protein and fiber found in legumes help in lowering the effects of cholesterol and fat.

The insoluable fiber in legumes does not get digested in the small intestine but moves into the large intestine, or colon, where bacteria act on it and produce short-chain fatty acids. These are thought to nourish the lining of the colon and protect it from carcinogenic invaders. Insoluble fiber adds to the physical bulk of the stools, helping them to move along more quickly. This helps to prevent cancer causing substances from attaching themselves to the colon wall.

The Benefits of Eating Onions

Onions

Related to garlic, the onion family includes chives, shallots, and leeks. Onions have been used in cooking and for their medicinal properties for thousands of years. Traditionally they have been used as a home remedy for coughs, colds, and bronchitis. Simmering an onion in water with a little honey, then eating the onion and repeating this every 4 hours has been noted to be a remedy for coughs.

An average sized onion weights about 90g and provides about 5 percent of an adult’s daily potassium needs. They are also a rich source of quercetin. They may help to ward off heart disease if eaten 3-4 times a week. Also placing a fresh onion slice on insect bites have shown to reduce the swelling.

Tobacco smoking is one of the major causes of bladder cancer in humans. Onions contain flavonoids such as quercetin and it is believed that the quercetin are converted into substances that protect the bladder lining from carcinogens. Regular intake of onions may help prevent cancer. Of course if at all possible you should stop smoking. Tobacco smoking is a powerful addiction and it may take a few times to quit.

© 2013 Michelle Dee

Comments

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    • Efficient Admin profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Dee 

      3 years ago from Charlotte, NC

      FatBoyThin - thanks for stopping by and I hope you get a chance to make this dish and enjoy it!

    • FatBoyThin profile image

      Colin Garrow 

      3 years ago from Kinneff, Scotland

      Never thought about using carrots with pasta - great idea. Thanks for sharing.

    • Efficient Admin profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Dee 

      3 years ago from Charlotte, NC

      monia saad - this dish is very tasty and it also freezes very well. When I make this dish if there are any leftovers I put them in freezer containers to have at another time. Thank you for your comments and for reading.

    • monia saad profile image

      monia ben saad 

      3 years ago from In my Dream

      I think it's delicious and very tasty. Pictures also given a wonderful impression. Will be my experience with it ... thank you

    • Efficient Admin profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Dee 

      5 years ago from Charlotte, NC

      Anita - this dish has not disappointed yet. I hope you get a chance to try it and let me know how it turns out. Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • Anita Coleman profile image

      Anita Coleman 

      5 years ago from virginia beach

      This looks and sounds yummy... Love a surprising pasta dish... I will have to give it a try... Thanks

    • Efficient Admin profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Dee 

      5 years ago from Charlotte, NC

      KoffeeKlatch Gals - thanks! I hope you get a chance to make this recipe and let me know how it turns out. Thank you for stopping by and commenting and for the votes!

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Hazelton 

      5 years ago from Sunny Florida

      I love the different surprizing foods you added. It looks and sound so delicious. A definite must try. Up, useful, and interesting.

    • Efficient Admin profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Dee 

      5 years ago from Charlotte, NC

      CharronsChatter - thank you much very for such wonderful compliments! This is one of my favorite pasta recipes and it is packed with lots of flavor. Thank you for stopping by and reading.

    • CharronsChatter profile image

      Karen Robiscoe 

      5 years ago from California

      Michelle, this looks like a delicious recipe! Full of good stuff, and stuff that's good for you, your layout is just superb, and the conversational tone to your article invites me right in. Bravo, chef!!

    • Efficient Admin profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Dee 

      6 years ago from Charlotte, NC

      alocsin - thanks for the vote and it really is as good as it looks. Let me know how you like it. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

    • alocsin profile image

      Aurelio Locsin 

      6 years ago from Orange County, CA

      Looks delicious, all the more so because of your great photos. Can't wait to try this out. Voting this Up and Useful.

    • Efficient Admin profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Dee 

      6 years ago from Charlotte, NC

      shiningirisheyes - I'm not a big pasta fan but this dish wows me every

      time. Maybe once a year or so I want some pasta and this is the dish that gets made. I hope you get a chance to try. Let me know. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 

      6 years ago from Upstate, New York

      Wow my friend - this looks absolutely magnificent! Can't wait to try it and taste it!

      Thanks for the share.

    • Efficient Admin profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Dee 

      6 years ago from Charlotte, NC

      cptjarum - that's fantastic, I'm glad you got a chance to try this recipe and that you liked it. Thanks for reading and stopping by.

    • cptjarum profile image

      jane 

      6 years ago from perth

      tried this recipe out last night and it tastes great. Thanks for the recipe Admin.

    • Efficient Admin profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Dee 

      6 years ago from Charlotte, NC

      carol7777 thank you very much. I am not much into pasta myself but if I want some, this is the recipe I always come to - lots of flavor. Hope you have a chance to try to enjoy. Thanks for stopping by and reading.

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 

      6 years ago from Arizona

      This sounds yummy and easy. Two good things. Great photos to get the appetite going. I am going to pin this in my recipe section.

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