When I was little, we used to go out for Italian a lot....in fact, pretty much whenever Katie or I got to choose where we were going. And I always ordered the same thing...baked rigatoni...or baked ziti. I loved it. Still do :)
I had some rigatoni noodles in the pantry that I wanted to use, and I found a couple of chicken sausages in the freezer so I decided it was a go.
Since it's Saturday and I had some extra time (shocker) I made my own sauce using crushed tomatoes. I poured a big can into a small pot, added lots of garlic, oregano and basil and let it simmer for a couple hours while I was doing other things. Then I put it in the fridge to meld some more.
When we were hungry enough for dinner, I threw the dish together. I like to add veggies to my pasta dishes because sometimes I feel like the hubby is not consuming enough. I knew he would complain, so I diced them up really small to make them less noticeable. He still noticed, and he still complained...but whatever.
So step 1: Choose your veggies
I used zucchini, butternut squash, green pepper and onion. Saute them with some EVOO and garlic.
Step 2: Add your meat (or don't). I used sausage but ground meat would work also.
Step 3: Cook your noodles, then add your noodles and your sauce (save a little sauce)
Step 4: Spoon into a dish. I've finally learned my lesson and scaled back the size of my pasta dishes since there are only two of us. I have this nice little pan, no idea where i got it, but it's smaller than a 9x13 so it works out well.
Step 5: Top with a little extra sauce and some fat-free cheese, cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 1/2 an hour. My sausage was fully cooked. If yours is not, cook first or adjust cooking time accordingly.
Step 6: This one is optional. Although I bake it with the cheese on top, I like to mix the cheese in when it's done. You can leave it on top if you want.
I served mine with spaghetti squash and naan :)