Whenever you need something easy to prepare for dinner, a delicious casserole is the perfect option. This Italian sausage casserole combines rigatoni with marinara sauce and sliced Italian sausage to make a great tasting dinner for any night of the week. The sauce is a tomato cream sauce and is a combination of marinara sauce and whipped cream cheese. To make things even better the casserole is topped with a layer of shredded mozzarella cheese. You could also use Italian cheese blend if you would prefer. The flavor of the marinara sauce is enhanced with various seasonings such as fresh garlic and dried oregano. Serve with garlic bread. Enjoy.
- 1 pound rigatoni pasta (or your pasta of choice)
- 1 pound Italian sausage links
- 12 ounces whipped cream cheese
- 24 ounces Marinara sauce
- 8 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 garlic clove (minced)
- 1/2 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1/2 tablespoon dried parsley
- 1/4 tablespoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- Fresh parsley (about ¼ cup)
- Salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cook Italian Sausage in whichever way you prefer (I boil mine for about 15-20 minutes, until brown and fully cooked).
- Remove sausage casing and cut Italian Sausage into ¼ inch pieces.
- Prepare rigatoni (or pasta of your choice) according to directions on the box. Meanwhile, add cream cheese and marinara sauce to a medium-size saucepan to heat on low-medium heat.
- The cream cheese should melt into the marinara, making it a pinkish-orange color.
- Add fresh garlic to the sauce mixture and stir in dried spices (Italian seasoning, oregano, parsley, thyme, sage, and basil) to the marinara and cream cheese mixture.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Warm the cream cheese and marinara mixture until the cream cheese is fully melted into the sauce.
- When pasta is finished cooking, drain and put into a 4-quart casserole dish. Add the sausage to the pasta and mix until the sausage is somewhat evenly distributed.
- Pour the sauce over the mixture and stir so that it coats the pasta and sausage.
- Layer the top of the casserole with mozzarella cheese. Bake casserole for approximately 15-20 minutes, until the cheese, is melted. Sprinkle with fresh parsley.