A delightful and hearty pasta dish that’s perfect for any day of the week. The mellow fontina cheese complements the flavorful Italian sausage, while the cavatelli provides a delightful chewy texture. Red peppers and onions add a hint of sweetness, and the aromatic herbs from the diced tomatoes bring everything together.
- 8 oz. Italian sausage, casings removed, crumbled
- 1 red pepper, cut into ¼-inch thick strips, halved crosswise
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- 2 (14.5 oz.) cans diced tomatoes with basil, garlic, and oregano
- 2 Tbs. tomato paste
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 1 (12 oz.) package frozen cavatelli
- 4 oz. fontina cheese, shredded
- 1 Tbs. coarsely chopped fresh parsley
1. Preheat Oven:
- Heat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
2. Grease Baking Dish:
- Grease a 2½-quart baking dish.
3. Cook Sausage:
- Heat a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add the crumbled Italian sausage and cook until it’s no longer pink, which should take about 7 to 8 minutes.
- Remove the cooked sausage from the skillet.
4. Cook Peppers and Onions:
- In the same skillet, coat it with cooking spray and heat it over medium-high heat.
- Add the red pepper and onion, and cook while stirring until they become softened, which should take about 5 minutes.
5. Add Tomatoes and Seasonings:
- Add the diced tomatoes with their juices, tomato paste, salt, and the cooked sausage back to the skillet.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, then cover it.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low and let it simmer until the sauce becomes flavorful, which should take about 15 to 20 minutes.
6. Cook Cavatelli:
- Meanwhile, in a large saucepot, cook the cavatelli pasta according to the package directions until it’s al dente.
- Drain the pasta.
7. Combine Pasta and Sauce:
- Return the drained pasta to the pot and stir in the prepared sauce.
8. Transfer to Baking Dish:
- Transfer the pasta and sauce mixture to the greased baking dish.
9. Add Fontina Cheese:
- Sprinkle the shredded fontina cheese evenly over the pasta.
- Bake the dish until the cheese melts, which should take about 5 to 10 minutes.
11. Garnish and Serve:
– Once the cheese is melted and bubbly, remove the baking dish from the oven.
– Sprinkle the dish with coarsely chopped fresh parsley.
- Pair with a fresh garden salad drizzled with Italian or vinaigrette dressing.
- Complement with garlic bread or a crusty loaf for a complete meal.
- A glass of red wine like Chianti or Montepulciano would go beautifully with this dish.
Enjoy your cheesy, savory, and comforting meal! Perfect for family dinners, gatherings, or simply when you need a touch of comfort food.