Baked Cavatappi with Sausage

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 40 min
  • Active: 40 min
  • Yield: 4 servings



  1. Preheat the oven to 500˚ F. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook 2 minutes less than the label directs for al dente. Reserve 1 cup cooking water, then drain.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the sausage in 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, breaking up the meat, until browned, 5 to 6 minutes. Remove to a plate using a slotted spoon.
  3. Heat 1 more tablespoon olive oil in the skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and herbes de Provence and cook 30 seconds. Stir in the tomatoes, sausage and 1/4 cup of the reserved cooking water; season with salt and pepper. Bring to a gentle boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until thickened, 3 to 5 minutes. If the sauce is too thick, add a bit more cooking water. Stir the pasta into the sauce.
  4. Whisk the ricotta, 1/4 cup cheese blend, the lemon zest, 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper and 3 tablespoons cooking water in a bowl. Layer half of the pasta and ricotta mixture in an 8-inch square baking dish, then top with the remaining pasta, ricotta mixture and cheese blend. Bake until bubbly, 8 to 10 minutes.
  5. Toss the lettuce with the lemon juice and remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Serve with the pasta.