(This post was created in partnership with Vetta Pasta)
My week’s been busy, friends. I can’t tell you how happy I am today is Thursday because almost every day of the week I stumbled into my house feeling like all I could do was sleep for a solid 10 hours. Alas, that is not the life of this teacher/blogger/mum. On weeks like this I am so thankful for Italians and their invention of pasta, especially thick and chewy, smothered in melty mozzarella. We’ve been craving lasagna for a while but let’s face it lasagna takes time and that is what we are short on these days. This baked sausage and arugula fusilli is a quick and easy spin on lasagna. Same flavours, less fuss. That’s the way aha aha I like it.
The real shortcut here is the use of sausages instead of ground beef since they cook quicker and are infused with so much flavour from all the herbs and spices. Another flavour maker here is fennel seeds. To me they are the embodiment of southern Italy. They add this little je ne sais quoi to the whole dish I wouldn’t trade for anything.
And finally, I used my favourite Vetta High Fibre Pasta because I would be silly not to!! Vetta pasta is made by an Australian pasta making company that has been lovingly making pasta since 1878, using traditional Italian pasta making techniques. What makes it special you might ask? Vetta managed to produce pasta that contain 6.4 grams of fibre in each portion, which is 21% of your daily intake-the same as eating 2 apples! The Vetta High Fibre range is low GI and naturally low in fat.
- 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
- 300g/6 sausages
- ½ tsp fennel seeds
- 3 cloves of galic, minced
- 7-8 fresh basil leaves, chopped
- 400 g can of chopped tomatoes/crushed tomatoes for US and Canada
- 1 lbs Vetta High Fibre Fusilli
- 3 cups of arugula/rocket
- 2 balls of fresh mozzarella, sliced thickly
- 5-6 cherry tomatoes, halved
- 3-4 basil leaves
- Remove casing from sausages, heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a deep pan and cook sausage meat over medium heat while breaking it up in small chunks with a wooden spoon until no longer pink for 7-10 minutes.
- Add garlic, fennel seeds and basil, cook for 1-2 minutes.
- Add canned tomatoes, bring it to a boil and then turn the heat down and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 375F/190C
- While the sauce is simmering cook pasta according to package instructions minus 2 minutes. Pasta should be quite firm as it will be baked later.
- Drain pasta and add to the sauce along with fresh arugula.
- Top with sliced mozzarella, halved cherry tomatoes and basil leaves. Drizzle with a little bit of olive oil.
- Bake at 375F/19C for 20 minutes until piping hot and the cheese is melted and golden.