Sunday, December 4, 2011

Pasta Fontina Rustica with Chicken Sausage

The hubby was getting "pasta" homesickness, so I knew it was time to make him what he likes best. I used a Williams-Sonoma recipe as a basic guide for this, but added a few of my own ingredients. I changed the dried herbs to fresh, and added mushrooms, and a few extra spices. I think it came out wonderfully. I used Penne, but you could also use any other ridged pasta. Enjoy!

Pasta Fontina Rustica with Chicken Sausage

*adapted from a Williams-Sonoma recipe


2 Tbs. Olive oil

1 yellow Onion, chopped

2 cloves fresh Garlic, minced

3/4 lb. Chicken sausage, with casings removed (about 4 sausages)

2 tablespoons fresh Basil (I used my fresh Basil infused in olive oil which I have in the fridge for an occasion just like this)

1 tsp. fresh Oregano

1-2 sprigs fresh Rosemary

¼ cup flat leaf Parsley-chopped

1/4 tsp. Red pepper flakes

1 can (28 oz.) Tomatoes in puree, tomatoes coarsely chopped and puree reserved

Salt, & pepper to taste

1 lb. Penne pasta

1 1/4 cups Ricotta cheese

½ pound sauteed fresh Mushrooms-chopped

2 cups shredded Fontina or Mozzarella cheese

1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese


In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onion and cook until golden, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the sausage and cook, breaking it up into bite-size pieces, until no longer pink. After 2 minutes add mushrooms & cook for 4 minutes. Stir in the basil, oregano and red pepper flakes. Add the tomatoes, puree, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 10 to 12 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasonings with salt.

Preheat an oven to 350ºF. Lightly oil a baking dish.
Bring a large pot three-fourths full of water to a boil over high heat. Salt the water, add the pasta, stir well and cook until barely al dente (tender but firm to the bite), 10 to 12 minutes. Drain well.

In a large bowl, toss the pasta with the sauce, the ricotta and fontina. Spread in the prepared baking dish and sprinkle with the Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Bake until the cheeses are melted and the tips of the pasta are crusty, about 30 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving. Serve hot.


  1. I am such a pasta junkie - this is amazing! I can't wait to try it out. Thanks so much for sharing; I bookmarked and buzzed :D

  2. are WE, so I totally get it. Thanks for the BUZZ!

  3. This is my first visit to your blog. This looks great. I will have to give it a try!

  4. @blackheartbetty-thanks for stopping by! Glad to have you.