This is a great one dish entrée that we made at THE TUSCANY GRILLE and just couldn't keep up with. This will be "del'arte di mangia e bene. (the art of eating well)


  • 1 pound Italian sausage, sweet, hot or mixed;
  • 1 pound Ziti or Penne (Penne is better because when you bake it the tips will crisp up).
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • A good olive oil
  • Handful of soaked sun dried tomatoes
  • 2-3 cloves of fresh chopped garlic
  • 1-2 quarts of your own Marinara Sauce or Italian gravy; or your favorite jarred version.
  • Small handful of chopped fresh flat parsley and basil
  • 1 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano or Regianno Parmesan cheese (or mixed)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2-3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese


If you have a large enough sauté pan (12-14 inch) that you can pop right in the oven, use it. If not, In a sauté pan on med. / high heat, add a little olive oil and the sausage and brown until cooked to medium (still pink); don't over cook it. Remove the pan from the burner and slice the sausage about a 1/4 inch diagonally in a dish that will catch the juices. Return the sausage and juices to the pan on med. heat, add the sun dried tomatoes and the garlic. Cook for about 25 seconds then add the parsley, basil and enough sauce for the amount of pasta you are cooking, bring to simmer and set aside but keep warm.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until very al dente(in Italian, this means "to the tooth", still quite hard); DO NOT over cook. Stir as soon as you drop the pasta so they won't stick. If you are using fresh pasta, watch it close; it will only take a few minutes to cook. The rule of thumb is, when fresh pasta starts floating on the surface, it is done. Strain but do not rinse.

Bring the sauce back to a simmer, add a small handful of grated cheese, a large handful of mozzarella and the pasta. Toss very well, add a little more of the mozzarella on top (but don't smother it) and place under the broiler or a very hot oven. Again, if your sauté pan is not large enough, which it probably isn't, toss in a lasagna pan. Bake or broil the pasta until the cheese melts and the pasta tip's start to burn. The best way to serve this dish is in individual, serving size, casserole dishes as it's made in the restaurant business. This way everyone gets some of the slightly burnt pasta on top. Serve hot and immediately.

For variation add some pieces of leftover cooked chicken or diced ham

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Submitted 8/13/05.