Baked Penne — Slow Cooker
February 15th, 2016 by Alice

Baked Penne

Not a great picture, but yummy!

From Alice

  • Olive oil
  • 2 generous pinches bonito
  • 1 tiny pinch xanthan gum
  • 1.5 lbs sausage (I make mine the same day with oregano, crushed garlic, pepper, thyme, and ground pork)
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper (green is prettier, but we like the taste of red), chopped
  • 1 orange bell pepper, chopped
  • (Or 1 package frozen, shelled edamame and 2 chopped zucchinis)
  • 4 oz (½ container) tofu cream cheese (Tofutti)
  • A handful of fresh oregano, chopped
  • A handful of fresh thyme, chopped
  • 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 package (16-oz) penne pasta, uncooked
  • 15-oz jar tomato sauce


Makes one 6-quart slow-cooker’s worth.

Bring ½ cup of water to a boil. Remove from heat, add the bonito. Let sit for 5 minutes.

Heat olive oil in heavy pan medium-high. Brown the sausage. Remove and set aside. Add the bonito broth to the leftover oil/fat in the pan while heating. Add the pinch of xanthan gum and whisk/stir to combine.

Add in the garlic, onions, and bell peppers. Cook until onions start to soften.

Add the cream cheese and melt while stirring.

When it is all combined, add the oregano, thyme, and crushed tomatoes. Cook for a short time, then add back the sausage. Stir to mix well, simmer 5-10 minutes.

Add penne, uncooked, stir until you can’t see any dry bits of penne.

If you’re already in the slow cooker, scrape everything away from the back wall and add a foil collar. Otherwise, put a foil collar in your slow cooker and oil the pan lightly. Pour in the penne and sauce.

Pour the tomato sauce over the top, carefully covering everything sticking up.

Cook 3 hours on high. Too much time in the “keep warm” stage does lead to crispy pasta.

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