Source: Chef Eric Kelly, Indian Lakes Resort, Bloomingdale, Illinois
1 pound Italian sausage (mild or hot)
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon hot pepper flakes
1 (28 ounce) can tomatoes, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 (19 ounce) can Romano or kidney beans, drained and rinsed
Salt and pepper
5 cups penne pasta (1 pound)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 pound Fontina or provolone cheese, shredded
Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a 9 x 13-inch glass baking dish.
Remove casings from sausage. In large skillet over medium-high heat, cook sausage (crumbling with fork), onion, carrot, celery, garlic, oregano, basil and hot pepper flakes until sausage is browned.
Add tomatoes and tomato paste; simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in beans, and salt and pepper to taste; cook for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, in large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta just until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain and combine with tomato mixture, half of the Parmesan cheese and half of the parsley. Transfer to prepared dish. (If making ahead, cool slightly.)
Sprinkle with Fontina cheese and remaining Parmesan and parsley. (Pasta can be prepared to this point, covered and refrigerated for up to 1 day or frozen for up to 2 months.
Thaw in refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before heating.)
Bake, covered for 20 minutes; uncover and bake for 10-15 minutes or until bubbly.
Nutrition values per serving: 453 calories, 29 g fat, 26 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 22 g protein, 81 mg cholesterol, 811 mg sodium