Saturday, January 14, 2012

Baked Pasta With Spinach & Italian Sausage

A wonderful pasta bake filled with flavor that will transport you to your favorite Italian restaurant without leaving the house. The creamy spinach tomato sauce takes this dish from ordinary to extraordinary! Pair with a nice salad, red wine, and lots of candles for romantic dinner:-)

Baked Pasta With Spinach & Italian Sausage

1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium red onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 - 28 ounce can stewed tomatoes
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 cup heavy cream
salt & pepper to taste
12 oz hot Italian sausage, cooked & drained
10 oz fresh baby spinach, chopped
1 lb rigatoni pasta

6 oz of shredded Italian cheese blend
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 3 minutes.

Stir in the garlic. Cook for another minute.

Process the stewed tomatoes in a food processor until smooth. Add the tomatoes to the onions and garlic. Add the oregano and simmer gently for about 5 minutes.

Add in the cream. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste and cook until for about 5 minutes.

In another pan, break up and cook the hot Italian sausage. Drain off the excess fat. Add this to the creamy tomato mixture. Add in the spinach. Cover and simmer on low.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta in the boiling water until al dente, according to package instructions. Drain, and return contents to pot.

Remove the creamy tomato sauce from heat and pour on top of the hot pasta. Mix well. Season again with salt and pepper to taste.

Pour the pasta into a 9x13 inch casserole dish and top with the cheeses.

Bake at 400 degrees for about 20-25 minutes. Let sit about 5 minutes before digging in. Enjoy!

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