Pork Sausage Italian Casserole (Tomato Based)
Pork Sausage Italian Casserole (Tomato Based)
DISCLAIMER: This is one of my more fattening recipes. If your dietary needs require you to monitor fat content, back away – this recipe is high in Total Fat and Saturated Fat. For most people, natural fats are part of a healthy diet.
1 roll “all natural” MSG-free pork sausage
5 large tomatoes
1/2 box (8 oz) of pasta, any kind (macaroni is pictured)
1 small onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
2 cups part skim mozzarella cheese, divided
1/2 cup 100% Parmesan cheese (I use Parmesan/Romano blend from Trader Joe’s in the shake-able container)
1/3 cup white or blush wine, any variety
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder or minced garlic
1 teaspoon onion powder
Boil noodles; do not overcook. Brown pork sausage until it is 3/4 cooked then drain, but do not rinse. Return pan to stovetop and add wine, onions, and peppers to the sausage. Remove pan from heat immediately once sausage is fully cooked (the onions and peppers should be just starting to soften when pan gets removed from heat). Do not drain. Wash tomatoes, remove ends, then place in blender or food processor. Blend tomatoes until mostly liquefied and no large chunks remain. Combine all ingredients & spices except for one cup of the mozzarella in an extra large casserole dish. Mix well, then level the mixture with the back of a spoon. Top with the second cup of cheese. Wipe the rim of the casserole clean, then bake at 375° F for 40 minutes. Bake covered for softer noodles (recommended), or uncovered for crisper edges.
Made with macaroni:
Number of Servings 6; Serving Size 1/6 of Yield; Calories 442; Total Fat 14.2 g; Saturated Fat 9.4 g; Cholesterol 45.9 mg; Sodium 1,043 mg; Potassium 418.6 mg; Total Carbohydrates 39.7 g; Dietary Fiber 3.6 g; Sugars 1.4 g; Protein 21.8 g.
Vitamin A 24.0 % Daily Value; Vitamin B-12 4.5 % DV; Vitamin B-6 10.5 % DV; Vitamin C 66.7 % DV; Vitamin D 2.0 % DV; Vitamin E 4.1 % DV; Calcium 27.1 % DV; Copper 7.0 % DV; Folate 7.9 % DV; Iron 5.5 % DV; Magnesium 7.1 % DV; Manganese 10.6 % DV; Niacin 5.5 % DV; Pantothenic Acid 4.2 % DV; Phosphorus 20.0 % DV; Riboflavin 10.7 % DV; Selenium 8.1 % DV; Thiamin 7.5 % DV; Zinc 7.5 % DV.
Made with two cups of cheese filled tortellini (measured dry):
Number of Servings 6; Serving Size 1/6 of Yield; Calories 460; Total Fat 17.5 g; Saturated Fat 10.8 g; Cholesterol 69.2 mg; Sodium 1,509 mg; Potassium 418.6 mg; Total Carbohydrates 35.3 g; Dietary Fiber 2.9 g; Sugars 2.0 g; Protein 23.1 g.
Vitamin A 26.7.0 % Daily Value; Vitamin B-12 4.5 % DV; Vitamin B-6 10.5 % DV; Vitamin C 66.7 % DV; Vitamin D 3.0 % DV; Vitamin E 4.1 % DV; Calcium 32.4 % DV; Copper 7.0 % DV; Folate 7.9 % DV; Iron 10.8 % DV; Magnesium 7.1 % DV; Manganese 10.6 % DV; Niacin 5.5 % DV; Pantothenic Acid 4.2 % DV; Phosphorus 20.0 % DV; Riboflavin 10.7 % DV; Selenium 8.1 % DV; Thiamin 7.5 % DV; Zinc 7.5 % DV.
Clean Eating Notes:
This casserole was born a few months ago in a desperate attempt to use up the random leftovers in my fridge. I had an opened bag of tortellini, a half used jar of tomato sauce, some tomatoes from the garden, a jar of Parmesan cheese that was getting old, a half shredded block of mozzarella, some wine that had gone flat, and some onions and peppers that were about to go bad. So I took what I had on hand and threw in some sausage and spices. When I took the first bite, I thought “This is incredible; too bad I’ll never be able to recreate it exactly.” The casserole was so good though, I knew I had to make it again. Following tradition, I make this casserole a little different each time, using up whatever I have on hand. The recipe you see above is my best attempt at the “original” mouth watering recipe. Learning to utilize leftover foods instead of tossing them saves money and is delicious, less wasteful, and better for the environment. That’s the beauty of making a casserole. I would love to hear how you altered this recipe to suit what you have on hand. Try different cheeses, left over tomato sauces, different types of pasta, different types of peppers, etc!
For pork sausage, I almost always buy Smithfield All Natural. Whichever brand you choose, read the label, watching closely to avoid sausage containing anything “modified” or MSG.
This casserole is especially delicious using tortellini. It’s a bit more fattening than macaroni, but even more delicious.
Read the label carefully before choosing a Parmesan cheese. Often it contains Cellulose Powder and Potassium Sorbate, even if it says “100% real cheese! No fillers!” You can find my cheese rant at the bottom of this page in the Clean Eating Notes section.
Interested in learning about organic meat? I give the “Cliff Notes” version of what you need to know at the bottom of this post.