Creamy Sausage and Escarole Baked Pasta

Rich tomato-ricotta sauce coats Italian sausage and wilted escarole in this mozzarella-topped pasta dish.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 5 min (includes resting time)
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: 6
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Ingredients

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes

One 28-ounce can whole plum tomatoes, crushed by hand

One 15-ounce can whole plum tomatoes, crushed by hand

1 sprig fresh oregano

1 cup fresh ricotta

3/4 pound sweet or spicy Italian sausage, casings removed

1/2 head escarole, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 pound dried farfalle

3 cups shredded mozzarella

1 cup grated Parmesan

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until the garlic is golden, about 2 minutes. Add both cans of tomatoes and 1 cup water. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat slightly, add the oregano and simmer rapidly, uncovered, until thickened, 15 to 20 minutes. Discard the oregano and stir in the ricotta. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook, breaking up any clumps with a wooden spoon, until browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer the sausage to a large bowl using a slotted spoon. Add the escarole and a pinch of salt to the sausage drippings in the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally and reducing the heat slightly if necessary, until wilted, about 4 minutes. Transfer the escarole to the bowl with the sausage.
  4. Cook the farfalle in the salted boiling water until very al dente, about 2 minutes less than the package directions. Drain the pasta and add it to the mixing bowl.
  5. Add the tomato sauce, half of the mozzarella and half of the Parmesan to the bowl and stir well to combine. Transfer the pasta to a 3- to 4-quart baking dish and top with the remaining mozzarella and Parmesan. Bake, uncovered, until browned, about 15 minutes. Let the pasta stand about 10 minutes before serving.