Baked Pasta with Chicken Sausage

The picture doesn't do this dinner justice. The flavor combinations in this baked pasta dish are fantastic! A gorgeous tomato cream sauce is paired with fontina cheese, fresh spinach and the intense flavor of the sausage to make an amazing taste. You may substitute pork or turkey sausage for the chicken, and mozzarella for the fontina, if those ingredients are too hard to find. I'm sure the result would still taste great. Martha's recipe called for precooked, smoked sausage, but I used regular chicken sausage and cooked it myself before adding it. My changes are noted below.

Baked Pasta with Chicken Sausage

Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium red onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (28 ounces) whole tomatoes with juice, lightly crushed with hands
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 pound rigatoni
10 ounces baby spinach
12 ounces chicken sausage (4 links), cooked and diced
9 ounces fontina cheese, 5 ounces cut into 1/2-inch cubes and 4 ounces coarsely grated
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion; cook until translucent, about 3 minutes. Stir in garlic. Stir in tomatoes and oregano; cook until tomatoes are falling apart, 10 minutes. Add cream; cook until warmed through, about 5 minutes. Season sauce with salt and pepper. (The sauce looks gorgeous just after adding the cream. Mmm!)

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cook pasta in the boiling water until al dente, according to package instructions. Add spinach, and cook just until wilted. Drain, and return contents to pot.

Add tomato sauce, sausage, and cubed fontina to pot; toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Pour into 9x13 (3-quart) baking dish. (Alternately, see Martha's directions for how to freeze half for later.) Top with grated fontina and Parmesan. Bake until browned and edges are crisp, 20 to 30 minutes.

Original recipe from Martha Stewart, referenced at My Kitchen Cafe.


  1. What do you mean, "The picture doesn't do this dinner justice" -- it looks amazing!!

    Speaking of substituting ingredients that may be hard to find (I love how practical you are), have you had any more joyful moments/out-of-body experiences at Best Yet Market since your first visit? I hope so!

  2. Wow! That looks incredible! Whew, one look and I'm sold. Your blog is fantastic--hope you don't mind, I subscribed! :)

  3. Katherine, I haven't been back to Best Yet, we were able to buy the whole week's worth of groceries on Monday. Which is joyful in itsself!

    Headle, of course I don't mind! Thanks!

  4. oh this looks good. perfect comfort food in this chilly weather.

  5. Angie! I made this for dinner and WOW!! soooo yummy!