About this recipe: A super-hearty pasta dish that is packed full of flavour. Penne is tossed with sausagemeat in a tomato sauce, then topped with mozzarella before being baked to perfection.
added a teaspoon of Italian herbs much better - 10 Jan 2017
This dish is a good simple dish, but if you want some real flavor, you have to nurture it a bit. I took this recipe, but changed it as such: It's fine to deglaze with the wine, but cook the sauce in a different skillet. When starting the sauce, use a bit of olive oil, and take some shallots, minced onion, or shaved red onion, and simmer it in the oil. Add a bit of minced garlic. Take some basil leaves and throw those in the oil for one minute, and then add the tomatoes, etc. The flavor will be MUCH more substantial. I found the regular recipe to be a nice family dinner recipe, but not much more (in case you want to impress). - 14 Jun 2007 (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)
I made this recipe after checking out the review and I too got the same review from my boyfriend, that it was restaurant quality. Even my Italian roommate who's from Milan loved it and said it was great. The only thing is I couldn't find Italian sausage at my local grocery store that was not already in a sausage casing. I bought it anyway and squeezed the sausage out. It worked well but I also used hot sausage which I think added some flavor. Considering the recipe doesn't call for any spices I think the spicyness enhanced the flavor. Another thing I found was cooking the pasta to al dente was still too long and by the time it was baked in the oven it came out softer than I wanted it. Next time I'll only cook the penne about 5 minutes in boiling water or I'll immediately submerge it in cold water to retard the cooking. Other than that the recipe is a keeper and I'll be making it again and again. - 26 Aug 2005 (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)