- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon plus
- 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/2 pound dried rotini noodles
- 1/2 pound pork breakfast sausage, removed from casings
- 1 cup chopped yellow onion
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon Baby Bam
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3 cups Best Basic Red Sauce or
- store-bought pasta sauce
- 2 cups grated mozzarella cheese (about 1/2 pound)
- Make sure the oven rack is in the center position and preheat the oven to 350?F.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, 1/2 teaspoon of the oil, and the rotini. Lower the heat to medium and cook until the pasta is tender yet still firm, about 9 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally with a long-handled wooden spoon.
- Using oven mitts or pot holders, remove the pot from the heat and drain the pasta in a colander set in the sink, pouring away from you, and rinse under cold running water. Allow to drain. (You should have 5 cups of cooked pasta.)
- Heat the remaining oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the sausage meat and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Add the onions, garlic, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt, the Baby Bam, and pepper, and cook until the meat is brown and the onions are soft, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.
- Evenly spread the cooked noodles in a casserole dish. Add the meat mixture, the Best Basic Red Sauce, and 1 cup of the cheese, and stir to combine thoroughly. Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup of cheese over the pasta. Bake for 25 minutes.
- Using the mitts or pot holders, carefully remove the casserole from the oven and let it rest for 5 minutes before serving.
- Be creative! If you like other pasta shapes better, go for it! Ziti, fusilli, macaroni, or penne rigate all would work just fine for this dish.