Italian Pasta Fagioli al Forno
3 cups uncooked penne pasta (about 12 ounces)
1 can (28 ounces) whole plum tomatoes
1 pound bulk Italian sausage
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, chopped
1 celery rib, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 can (15 ounces) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley, divided
2 cups shredded fontina or provolone cheese
Preheat oven to 350°. Cook pasta according to package directions for al dente; drain.
Meanwhile, drain tomatoes, reserving juices; coarsely chop tomatoes. In a 6-qt. stockpot, cook and crumble sausage with onion, carrot, celery and garlic over medium-high heat until no longer pink, 6-8 minutes; drain. Stir in tomato paste, seasonings, chopped tomatoes and reserved juices; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes.
Stir in beans and 1/4 cup each Parmesan cheese and parsley. Stir in pasta. Transfer to a greased 13×9-in. baking dish; sprinkle with fontina cheese and remaining Parmesan cheese.
Bake, covered, 20 minutes. Uncover; bake until cheese is melted, 10-15 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining parsley.
Freeze option: Cool unbaked casserole; cover and freeze. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Preheat oven to 350°. Bake casserole as directed, increasing time as necessary to heat through and for a thermometer inserted in center to read 165°.
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1 serving: 440 calories, 23g fat (10g saturated fat), 66mg cholesterol, 1029mg sodium, 37g carbohydrate (5g sugars, 6g fiber), 22g protein.
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