This is a dinner that my two pre-school aged boys request at least once a week. Crammed with veggies it's a great way to get more of the good stuff in a fun way. This can be made up in advance. I often make it in the morning and top with cheese and bake at dinner time. It also reheats well in the microwave and can be frozen in batches.
500g dried pasta, e.g. fusilli
1 red onion, sliced
1 packet button mushrooms, quartered
1 capsicum, finely sliced
1 zucchini , julienned
1 (400g) tin chopped tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon dried basil
2 tablespoons concentrated tomato puree
1 heaped teaspoon paprika
salt and pepper, to taste
125g reduced fat Cheddar cheese, grated
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In a large saucepan with boiling salted water, cook pasta as directed on packet until al dente.
Cut each sausage into 6 pieces and add to a large frying pan over a medium-high heat (no need to add oil as the sausages release fat when cooking). Cook and stir the sausages until golden, moving them frequently to ensure the are cooked evenly and no longer pink in the centre. Add the onions, mushrooms and capsicums to the pan and cook and stir to soften for 4 minutes. Add the zucchini and cook for a further 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
Drain the pasta and add the tinned tomatoes, minced garlic, basil, tomato purée, paprika and the sausage and vegetable mixture. Stir well to ensure that everything is mixed, season to taste.
Transfer into a ceramic baking dish (I find that I need to use two), sprinkle with Cheddar cheese.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the cheese is melted and golden brown. Remove from the oven and serve hot.