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Cheesy Italian Casserole
Shaun Glinz, Jamestown, N.D.

Ingredients
Makes 8 servings

12 ounces spinach and tomato rotini or similar pasta
1 (8-ounce) jar sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, divided
1/4 cup olive oil, approximately
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 small green bell pepper, chopped
1 small red bell pepper, chopped
1 pound 100% pork Italian sausage, bulk
1 clove garlic, minced
8 ounces tomato sauce
8-ounces roasted garlic and artichoke spreadable cheese (such as RondeleŽ)
1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes, or 4 tablespoons chopped, fresh parsley
1 teaspoon dried oregano, or 1 tablespoon chopped fresh
1 teaspoon dried basil, or 1 tablespoon chopped fresh
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Salt, to taste

Garnish:
Parmesan or Romano cheese, grated
Basil, fresh, chopped


Instructions
In a large (6-quart) Dutch oven, boil pasta about 2 minutes less than minimum cooking time listed on package. Drain in colander.

In same Dutch oven, drain oil from sun-dried tomatoes. Set tomatoes aside. Add enough additional olive oil to cover bottom of Dutch oven. Over medium heat, cook onion for 3 minutes; add bell peppers and sauté 3 more minutes. Add sausage and garlic; brown thoroughly, leaving meat in larger pieces. Remove to colander and drain. Chop the drained sun-dried tomatoes.

In same Dutch oven, over medium-low heat, mix sun dried tomatoes, tomato sauce, cheese spread, parsley, oregano, basil, thyme, rosemary, black pepper and salt. Stir occasionally until cheese is melted. Turn off heat.

Add the meat mixture and pasta to Dutch oven; mix gently with sauce. Cover and bake in a preheated 300-degree oven 45 minutes.

Garnish with Parmesan and/or Romano cheese as desired, and sprinkle with chopped fresh basil.


Nutritional Information
Per Serving: 480 calories, 15 g protein, 41 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber, 28 g fat, 10 g saturated fat, 23 mg cholesterol, 84 mcg folate, 3 mg iron, 705 mg sodium.