Baked Penne with Roasted Cauliflower and Italian Sausage

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This week Sunday Supper is cooking up some Captivating Casseroles to share!   I am a big fan of casseroles.   I like them because it’s basically a one pot meal that’s made, cooked in the oven, then left alone until it’s time to eat.  They are generally easy to make and perfect for this cold weather we’re having!

Friday nights in our house is usually Italian night.  I love starting off the weekend with one of my favorite foods.  It’s a toss up between pizza or pasta so we generally rotate the two.  They are simple to make, there are so many combinations, and they don’t take much work.

While I could just have pasta marinara or cheese pizza, my husband enjoy some meat on his pizza or in his pasta.  Truth be told, I like to add veggies to my pasta or pizza too.  So as a compromise I wanted to make a pasta dish with both veggies and sausage.

Baked Penne is layered with roasted cauliflower, Italian sausage, spinach, sauce, and cheeses.

Lately I’ve been loving roasted vegetables.  I don’t know what it is about vegetables sprinkled with a little salt and pepper and roasted with olive oil.  The flavor just bursts out of the vegetables.  Since I had half a pound of sausage leftover from last weeks pizza, I wanted to use that along with the head of cauliflower I bought at the market this past week.

Baked Penne with Roasted Caulfilower and Italian Sausage from Hezzi-D's Books and Cooks

The combination of roasted cauliflower and Italian sausage was really delicious.  Paired with the penne and delicious homemade tomato sauce, it was the perfect Friday night dish.  Plus, this dish made enough for us to have it for lunch for the next two days as well!

Baked Penne with Roasted Cauliflower and Italian Sausage (adapted from Cooking Club)
4 c. cauliflower florets
1 T. olive oil
1 t. salt
1 t. black pepper
12 oz. penne pasta
2 c. fresh spinach, chopped
1/2 lb. Italian sausage
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 t. rosemary
1 t. oregano
1 t. black pepper
1/2 t. salt
1 c. mozzarella cheese, shredded

1.  Heat the oven to 425 degrees.  Toss the cauliflower, olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Place on a rimmed baking sheet.  Bake for 20 minutes or until lightly browned.

2.  Cook the pasta according to the package directions.  Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of pasta water, and place in a bowl with the spinach.  Toss the hot pasta and spinach and allow to sit.

3.  Heat a large skillet over medium heat.  Crumble the sausage into the pan and cook for 6-8 minutes or until browned.

4.  Add in the crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, garlic cloves, rosemary, oregano, black pepper, salt, and reserved pasta water.  Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer.  Cook for 15-20 minutes or until slightly thickened.

5.  Spoon 1 cup of the tomato sauce mixture onto the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan.  Layer with half of the pasta, then cauliflower, tomato sauce, and sprinkle with half the cheese.  Repeat the layers, ending with the remaining mozzarella cheese.

6.  Bake at 375 for 30 minutes or until the cheese is browned and bubbly.

Baked Penne with Roasted Cauliflower and Italian Sausage



  1. I totally get that! I love zucchini on my pizza and we usually order a veggie supreme pizza and add on our fave meats when we order a pizza or make it…. 🙂 what a great combination of all your loves! 😉

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