I was a cooking fool over the past week, preparing three new dishes with the thought of having lots of blog material for the future. Unfortunately, the first meal was a complete disaster, but the pictures came out nice. The second dish was so-so but the pictures were terrible. I finally hit it on the third meal, which I present to you today. If you have a cast iron skillet with a lid, preparing this Spinach Sausage Pasta Bake can be done in one pot, except for the noodles. Easy to prepare, and easy to clean up!
I adapted this recipe from one I found online. I really wanted to use fresh spinach in this, but once again I sent my husband out to do the shopping and he came back with frozen spinach. He claims the grocery store did not have any fresh spinach. I’m highly suspect of that, but I made do anyways. You can use any type of small to medium pasta you want for this recipe. I just happened to have mini penne pasta and it worked great.
Spinach Sausage Pasta Bake
2 cups dried pasta
1 pound bulk Italian sausage
1/2 large onion, diced small
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
10 oz. package frozen spinach, thawed
1 can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1 brick Neufchatel cheese
1 cup Italian blend shredded cheese (combination of Mozarella and other white cheeses)
Cook the pasta according to package directions, drain, and set aside if done before the sausage is cooked. Meanwhile, cook the sausage, onions, and garlic in a large cast iron skillet until sausage is thoroughly cooked. Drain the grease and return the skillet to the stove. Add the thawed spinach, Italian seasoning and fire-roasted tomatoes and stir until combined. I happened to have a Roma tomato that needed used so chopped that up and added it at this time too. Then add the pasta, cream cheese, and half of the shredded cheese. Mix well until all the cheese is melted and incorporated. Cover and place in a 350 degree preheated oven for a half an hour. Remove cover, top with the remaining cheese, and cook 10 to 15 minutes longer until cheese is melted and bubbly. Fantastico!