Following along the casserole trend, we tested out a delicious pasta bake for supper the other night. It combines penne noodles with some sausage, and host of veggies including spinach, coloured peppers, and cherry tomatoes. It's a really nice blend of healthier creaminess and traditional marinara pasta sauce.
We made a huge casserole dish of it, so we had several leftovers some of which we froze--and I'm happy to say that that it freezes really well too! This recipe was also Toddler Approved which is always a bonus!
Pasta Bake with Sausage, Spinach & Tomatoes
-10 ounces whole wheat penne pasta
-1 lb spicy Italian chicken or turkey sausage
-1 5-6 oz. bag baby spinach
-2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 small red pepper cut into strips
- 1/2 small orange pepper cut into strips
- 1/2 small yellow pepper cut into strips
-1 cup chopped cherry tomatoes
-1 cup pasta sauce
-3/4 cup plain greek yogurt
-1/4 cup milk-1 and 1/4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese or mixed blend
-1/2 tsp garlic powder
-1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (less or none if you don't like spicy)
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cook pasta according to package directions until al dente.
2. Cook sausage in 1 tbsp butter over medium heat for 12-14 minutes, or until browned. When almost done, add in garlic and cook for 30 seconds more. Turn off heat and remove sausage with tongs, placing on cutting board. Slice into bite-sized pieces. Pour remaining butter and garlic into a very large bowl.
3. Place the spinach in the bottom of your pasta strainer. When pasta is done, pour pasta and pasta water over the spinach into the strainer, allowing the spinach to wilt slightly.
4. Chop cherry tomatoes into halves, for a total of 1 cup.
5. Pour pasta, sausage, spinach, peppers, and tomatoes into bowl with garlic.
6. Add tomato sauce, yogurt, milk, 1 cup of the cheese, and spices to bowl. Mix very well. Pour into casserole dish. Top with remaining 1/4 cup cheese. Cover dish with foil.
7. Cook for 20 minutes covered. Remove foil, cook for an additional 10 minutes.