Typically these types of dishes are made with regular pasta but I chose to use a whole grain version instead. I know a lot of people have an aversion to using wheat pastas but really it's not bad at all (and it's better for you)! If you aren't a fan of penne, I think this dish would work well with rigatoni, ziti or rotini pasta. Another substitute you could make would be to use a spicier sausage or even a turkey version. And of course...don't forget the wine! We enjoyed our meal with a french wine. This was my first time buying this particular wine and I will definitely pick it up again.
Makes 4 servings
1 box (13 -16 oz) of whole wheat/grain pasta
2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 onion, diced
3 links (about 12 oz) of sweet Italian sausage, remove from casing
1/4 cup dry red wine
big can (28-35 oz.) of whole plum tomatoes in juice
1/8 cup fresh marjoram (use 1/3 the amount if dry herbs)
1/8 cup fresh oregano
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup Pecorino Romano Cheese, grated
1/3 cup Italian Parsley, chopped
1/2 tsp nutmeg
8 oz. fresh mozzarella, cubed
Preheat oven to 375.
Bring a pot of water to a boil, add salt.
In a large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and saute until tender, 5 minutes.
Add sausage and garlic. Break up sausage as it browns. Once the sausage is browned, season with salt and pepper.
Add the wine and let sit until the liquid is almost evaporated.
Add tomatoes (with juice) and chop them up while they cook. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. Add the italian seasonings.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix half the pecorino cheese and the ricotta. Slowly add in the parsley and nutmeg. Season with more salt and pepper.
Cook the penne until al dente. Drain and toss with the cheese mixture making sure to mix well.
Add the sauce and mix. Slowly stir in the fresh mozzarella.
Transfer pasta to a lightly greased Corningware dish (or other baking dish).
Add the rest of the pecorino cheese to the top. Bake uncovered for 25 minutes.