Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Baked Pasta with Sausage and Spinach


My husband is not a fan of spinach. Especially in salads. Popeye he is not.

I think the only time I've ever seen Joe eat a salad was the first time he met my parents. We had been dating for 2 weeks (yep, 2 weeks) and he was coming over to my parent's house for dinner. My mother had made this beautiful meal, which included a very nice salad, and my husband ate everything he was offered. On the way home, he told me the truth. He only ate that salad because he didn't want to insult my mother. 

The only two exceptions that I've seen to the no spinach rule have been spinach artichoke dip (which I feel barely counts) and the recipe I'm sharing with you today (which is a much healthier choice). It is Baked Pasta with Sausage and Spinach from Skinnytaste and it is seriously amazing. All of the recipes shared on the Skinnytaste site are healthy, even though you wouldn't know it when you taste it. 

I highly recommend this to anyone with picky eating husbands like mine.

Baked Pasta with Sausage and Spinach
From Skinnytaste

olive oil spray
1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano
8 oz. fat-free ricotta
8 oz. part-skim shredded mozarella
14 oz. uncooked Italian chicken sausage, casings removed
12 oz. whole wheat penne pasta
1 tsp. olive oil
2 garlic cloves smashed, roughly chopped
10 oz. package spinach (I use fresh, but the original recipe calls for frozen)
1 jar marinara sauce
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Start to cook the pasta according to the package directions, but undercook by about 4 minutes.

Combine the ricotta, 6 Tbs. of the Romano cheese, and half of the mozzarella. Brown the sausage, breaking into small bits. Set aside. 


Add the oil to the skillet and saute the garlic for about a minute. Add the spinach and salt and pepper, and cook for another minute. Add the sausage and marinara sauce and cook on low for about 2-3 minutes.


Spray a baking dish with the cooking spray. Put half of the pasta into the dish and top with the sauce. Layer the cheese mixture on top of the sauce. Layer the rest of the pasta on top, and then the rest of the meat sauce. Top with the rest of the cheese.


Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil, and bake for another 6-7 minutes. 


Enjoy!

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