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A tomato sausage pasta bake in a white casserole dish. The cheesy top is golden brown and there is a serving spoon digging in.

Easy and Delicious Sausage Pasta Bake

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5 from 18 reviews


This insanely delicious sausage pasta bake tastes exactly like a lasagne but with much less effort. Your friends and family will be wowed!


400 grams pasta, I used elicoidali but penne, ziti or rigatoni will work

1 tablespoon butter

250 grams bacon, cut into bite size pieces

1 onion, finely chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 1/2 teaspoons fennel seeds

500 grams sausages, meat squeezed out of casings (see notes)

690 gram jar of passata (see notes)

2/3 cup light or single cream

100 grams parmesan, divided and finely grated

1 tablespoon lemon juice, plus the zest

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

300 grams mozzarella, grated (see notes)


  1. Preheat your oven to 350f (180c)
  2. Heat the butter in a large skillet or dutch oven over a medium - high heat and fry the bacon until golden, about 10 minutes.
  3. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside, leaving the drippings behind.
  4. Turn the heat down slightly and add the onion and cook for about 3 minutes until soft.
  5. Add the garlic and fennel seeds and cook for a further 2 minutes.
  6. Add the sausage meat, you might need to turn the heat back up slightly.
  7. Cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon until pretty much cooked through. 5 - 6 minutes.
  8. Get the pasta cooking in a big pot of well salted water.
  9. Add the passata and cream to the sausage mixture and bring to a very gentle simmer.
  10. Add 40 grams of the parmesan in and mix in until melted.
  11. Add the bacon back in along with the lemon juice and pepper then taste to see how much salt to add. You want it on the saltier side as the pasta will dilute it.
  12. Very gently simmer the sauce on a low heat for 10 mins while the pasta cooks. You could alternatively cook the pasta first, drain it and toss with a teaspoon of butter while you make the sauce.
  13. Cook the pasta a minute or two shorter than what the packet says. Very important as you don't want it to overcook in the oven.
  14. Reserve a cup of the sauce and set aside then mix the cooked pasta into the rest of it.
  15. See photos above for assembly.
  16. In a 9 x 13 inch baking dish (22cm x 33cm) place half of the pasta mixture.
  17. Top with an even sprinkling of the lemon zest and then 100 grams of the mozzarella and 30 grams of the parmesan.
  18. Top with the remaining pasta then evenly distribute the extra cup of sauce over the top in dollops.
  19. Top with the remaining 200 grams of mozzarella and remaining 30 grams of parmesan.
  20. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until the top is nicely golden brown.
  21. Allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving and enjoy!


Ingredient notes:

Fennel seeds - Leave these out if you wish, I recommend using pork and fennel sausages as they give so much flavour. I add the extra fennel seeds as I just love it.

Sausages - Use any sausages you like. I use 50% pork and fennel and 50% beef. You could use all pork or all beef. Whatever you like personally will work. Snip the ends and squeeze out the filling.

Passata - This is readily available here but I think is called tomato puree in America. It's smooth and slightly thick and is the best thing to use in sauces. You can substitute for 2 x 400g canned tomatoes and puree them really well but they are more watery so your sauce might be a touch thinner.

Mozzarella - Try and buy a square/block so you can grate yourself. The packet pre grated mozzarella generally has nasty additives. Don't use the fresh balls of mozzarella.

The cheeses in general - Sorry if all the different cheese measurements are confusing! I have put the full amount you need in ingredient list. 100 grams of parmesan split into 40g for in the sauce and 30g x 2 layers in final dish. Mozzarella is 300g total, 100g in middle layer and 200g on top.

PERFECT SIDE DISH - Make my Iceberg Wedge Salad to go with it.

  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Category: Pasta Bakes
  • Method: Stovetop/Bake
  • Cuisine: American