Who doesn’t love a home cooked lasagna? I know I do. But let’s face it, making lasagna is a whole task that only feels worth it for special occasions, not for a typical week night. Plus, I’m way too lazy to make lasagna, so I whipped up an easier version that will surely satisfy your lasagna cravings, AND IT’S SO EASY TO MAKE! My baked bow tie pasta is a simple rendition of a classic Italian American comfort food that your whole family will love. Some might even call it lasagna casserole.
There are lots of variations to this recipe. Some call it baked ziti. Some add extra cheese, some add extra meat, and others leave out the tomato sauce all together. MY version uses mild Italian sausage, spinach, and multiple types of cheese. You can use any type of pasta shape, but my family likes the bow tie.
Baked Bow Tie Pasta
- 17.6 oz bow tie pasta
- kosher salt
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 lb mild ground Italian sausage
- 1 large onion chopped
- 3 garlic cloves chopped
- 3 oz fresh spinach chopped
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 25 oz jar marinara or pasta sauce I like Mezzetta Roasted Garlic
- 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella
- 15 oz ricotta cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Heat a large pot of salted water to a strong boil. Add the pasta and cook at the rolling boil uncovered until the pasta is al dente-edible but still a bit firm. Drain pasta.
While waiting for the pasta water to come to a boil, chop your onion. Add 1 tbsp olive oil to a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Cook down onions for 3 minutes. Add garlic and crushed red pepper and cook for another 2 minutes. Add ground Italian sausage and cook until browned well, breaking up the meat into small chunks. Add fresh chopped spinach and stir till slightly wilted.
Add tomato sauce to the meat mixture and bring to a simmer. Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed.
Assemble the casserole:
Spread a thin layer of the sauce in the bottom of a 9×13" casserole pan, then dot the surface with half of the ricotta cheese. Mix a couple ladles of the sauce into the past and stir well. Add the pasta to the casserole dish.
Dot the top of the pasta with the remaining half of ricotta cheese and pour the rest of the sauce overtop. Sprinkle it with mozzarella cheese and finish with parmesan cheese.
Bake uncovered in the oven at 350 degrees until the top is lightly browned and the cheese is melted, usually 20-25 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.
This baked bow tie pasta is so simple to throw together on any given weekday and is sure to become a staple in your family’s meal rotation. Don’t forget, it’s really easy to make modifications and substitutions to this dish too! Swap the ground sausage for ground turkey, add some extra cheese, or change the noodle shape. It’s totally customizable to what your family likes!
LINKED BELOW ARE MY FAVORITE DOTTY DISHES. SO AFFORDABLE YET SO CUTE.
I hope your family loves this baked bow tie pasta as much as mine does! And don’t forget to check out my other recipes on the blog. I’ve got desserts, side dishes, main courses, and more! Follow along on my Pinterest, where I’m always pinning new recipe finds!Add to favorites or read later