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Baked Italian Pasta

1 box penne or ziti (1 lb)
2 26 oz jars spaghetti sauce or homemade
12-16 oz shredded 6 cheese Italian blend (or mozzarella)
Parmesan cheese
5 hot Italian sausages (1.25 lb)
1 to 2 onions
1 to 2 green peppers
2 medium sized fresh tomatoes (optional)
Crushed red pepper (optional)
Fresh basil (optional)
Any other fresh vegetables you wish to add to sauce

Cook the penne for approx. 9-11 minutes in boiling water (almost
fully cooked but not quite). At the same time cook the Italian
sausage until it also almost fully cooked then slice into small
circles. Chop vegetables to desired size (leave somewhat chunky).
Drain penne and place a 1 noodle deep layer of penne on the bottom
of a large, deep casserole dish. Cover with half the sausage,
vegetables, cheese, and sauce. Evenly layer the rest of the penne
on top of the bottom layer.

Place the rest of the vegetables, sausage, sauce and cheese (put
the cheese on top) on top of the second layer of noodles. Top with
Parmesan cheese and fresh basil (optional). Cover and bake at 350F
for 35-55 minutes (depending on how well cooked/soft you like the
vegetables). Enjoy with a good Chianti or other red wine.


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