This tasty baked pasta dish from Canadian Living is quick to make and is great comfort food. You can use mild or hot sausage and any kind of short pasta, such as penne or ziti.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Look for sausages and strained tomatoes that are preservative-free. Make sure the seasoning does not contain anti-caking ingredients and the cheese does not contain colour.

Brown sausage

Brown onion and mushrooms

Add passata and sausage, then toss with cooked penne and top with cheese

Quick-baked mushroom and sausage penne


14 oz (400 g) mild or hot Italian sausage, casings removed

1 tsp (5 ml) olive oil

1 onion, chopped

1 pkg (227 g) cremini mushrooms, sliced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp (5 ml) Italian herb seasoning

¼ tsp (1 ml) hot pepper flakes

1 bottle (680 ml) strained tomatoes (passata)

400 g penne or other short pasta

¼ cup (60 ml) chopped fresh basil

3 tbsp (45 ml) chopped fresh parsley

1 cup (250 ml) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese


In Dutch oven or large heavy-bottomed saucepan, cook sausage over medium heat, breaking up with spoon, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Using slotted spoon, remove sausage to plate. Set aside.

Drain fat from pan. Add oil; cook onion and mushrooms over medium heat, stirring often and scraping up browned bits with wooden spoon, until softened and no liquid remains, about 6 minutes. Add garlic, Italian seasoning and hot pepper flakes; cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in sausage and strained tomatoes; bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring, until slightly thickened, about 4 minutes.

Meanwhile, in large saucepan of boiling lightly salted water, cook pasta until slightly undercooked, about 2 minutes less than package instructions. Reserving ½ cup (125 ml) of the cooking liquid, drain. Stir pasta, 3 tbsp (45 ml) of the basil, 2 tbsp (30 ml) of the parsley and the reserved cooking liquid into sauce; cook, stirring until slightly thickened, about 1 minute.

Scrape into lightly greased 8-cup (2 L) casserole dish. Sprinkle with mozzarella. Bake in 400°F (200°C) oven until cheese is melted, about 3 minutes. Broil until cheese is golden and bubbly, about 2 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining basil and parsley. Serves 4-6.

From Canadian Living