Sausage and Spinach Pasta with Homemade Ricotta

18 Mar
Sausage and Spinach Pasta with Homemade Ricotta

Sausage and Spinach Pasta with Homemade Ricotta

This is a very quick and easy dinner to throw together, especially if you have your favorite homemade spaghetti sauce stashed in the freezer (nevermindthefacthatIjustgotlaidoffanddon’tneedtimesavingrecipesrightnow). And if you make the ricotta in the morning (or even use store-bought) then you are way ahead of the game! And pssst, did you know making your own ricotta is super easy? I sure didn’t!

Prior to my life-changing event on Friday, I was always looking for dinner shortcuts. When I saw my friend Debbie’s post for Baked Pasta with Meatballs and Spinach, I knew it was something I totally wanted to make, but didn’t have the time to bother with making meatballs. So I did the next best thing and used the meatball ingredients as the base for the pasta. In hindsight, if I had made this in my large cast-iron skillet, I could have just popped it straight from the stove top into the oven! (I didn’t have the foresight, but I’m going to remember this for sure next time.)

Sausage and Spinach Pasta with Homemade Ricotta
Adapted from The Mountain Kitchen

2 cups dried pasta (I used Mostaccioli)
8 ounces ground hot Italian sausage
6 ounces baby spinach
Ground pepper, to taste (some red chile flakes would be great too)
4 cups homemade spaghetti sauce, or your favorite jarred
1 cup shredded mozzarella (not bagged variety)
1/2 cup ricotta cheese (homemade or store bought)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook pasta according to package directions.

Meanwhile, cook the sausage in a large skillet (cast iron if you have one!) until cooked through. Drain any grease, if necessary. Leaving the sausage in the pan, add 1/4 cup water and the spinach, stirring until wilted. Season with ground pepper, to taste.

Sausage and Spinach

Sausage and Spinach

Add the spaghetti sauce to the skillet, combine, and bring to a simmer.

Sauce Mixture

Sauce Mixture

Pour into a large casserole dish (or leave in in the skillet if using cast-iron), then stir in the cooked pasta, half the mozzarella and half the ricotta cheese. Sprinkle with the rest of the mozzarella and place dollops of the remaining ricotta over top.

Casserole Ready to Bake

Casserole Ready to Bake

Place in oven for about 10 minutes, then turn the oven to broil and cook until golden brown on top, about 5 to 7 more minutes. Serve immediately. WOW, so much flavor for so few ingredients!

Sausage and Spinach Pasta with Homemade Ricotta

Sausage and Spinach Pasta with Homemade Ricotta

BONUS! Here’s Debbie’s recipe for Homemade Ricotta:

Homemade Ricotta

4 cups whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar or lemon juice

Homemade Ricotta Cheese

Homemade Ricotta Cheese

Add 2 layers of cheesecloth (I used meshed cotton veggie bags) over a sieve or strainer on top of a bowl. Pour the milk and cream into a saucepan and bring to a full boil, stirring occasionally. Watch it carefully so it doesn’t overboil! Turn off heat and stir in the vinegar or lemon juice and let it sit for a few minutes. Pour the mixture over the cheesecloth and allow it to drain for about 25 minutes. Then place in refrigerator for several hours or overnight. Store unused cheese in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator.

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93 Responses to “Sausage and Spinach Pasta with Homemade Ricotta”

  1. mihrank March 18, 2017 at 7:04 pm #

    wow – this is very healthy, rich ingredients, strong flavor.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Cooking For The Time Challenged March 18, 2017 at 7:07 pm #

    Awesome, as usual!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Cooking For The Time Challenged March 18, 2017 at 7:09 pm #

    Did I read it correctly that you just got laid off? I am so sorry! How are you???

    Liked by 1 person

  4. NoPlateLikeHome.com March 18, 2017 at 7:14 pm #

    This looks great. I will have to try making my own ricotta cheese. It is so good when homemade. I don’t want to get my husband hooked on it though.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Debbie Spivey March 18, 2017 at 7:25 pm #

    I love this idea Kathryn!! So much easier. Thanks for mentioning me in your post. Next time I’m going to do your version!
    I hope your doing ok. Loosing a job is never easy, but I am always a firm believer that there are better things to come.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. fatsochef March 18, 2017 at 7:54 pm #

    Looks terrific! πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ˜

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Lina March 18, 2017 at 10:17 pm #

    Awesome..sounds perfect!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Stacy March 19, 2017 at 3:25 am #

    What a lovely dish, Kathryn! Italian sausage makes the best sauce, whether in meatballs or crumbles. I thought I didn’t have time to make meatballs either until I saw a Jamie Oliver show one day and he pinched the balls off right out of the casing and into the frying pan. Game changer! I couldn’t find his video after much searching so I made my own. Short but that’s all you need. It’s so easy! https://youtu.be/CwLffTXcAEw

    Liked by 1 person

  9. spearfruit March 19, 2017 at 4:49 am #

    Looks very tasty – thanks Kathryn.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Jodi March 19, 2017 at 4:49 am #

    This looks sooooo delicious! I’m so sorry to hear about you getting laid off. I hope it doesn’t cause too great of a hardship and you get to enjoy the time. I like the idea of homemade ricotta too btw.

    Liked by 2 people

    • anotherfoodieblogger March 19, 2017 at 8:19 am #

      Thanks Jodi, all the way around! I do plan on a little “me time” before hitting the streets for a job. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Josette@thebrookcook March 19, 2017 at 5:07 am #

    This dish is calling my name! Love everything about it… just might have to make it this week! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Cheryl "Cheffie Cooks" Wiser March 19, 2017 at 5:49 am #

    Ah my friend-I am disturbed by this lay-off-NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! I know that it is hard for you at the moment (it being done so quickly, etc.) Wish you and the Hubs could come to visit his folks and us!!! As for this dish well you know Debbie is my blogging buddy for three years and I adore her!!! Winner adaptation. xoxoxo ccc

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Adam J. Holland March 19, 2017 at 6:16 am #

    I like easy. I love easy-delicious. Eureka! β€” As for the layoff, I’m sorry. I know you’ve heard it a million times already and I believe it to be true: One door closes … another opens. I have no doubt you’ll land on your feet.

    Liked by 2 people

    • anotherfoodieblogger March 19, 2017 at 8:24 am #

      Thank you Adam. This is my second layoff from this company (the other one was 3 years after I started there). We’ve had layoffs probably every year for 5 years running now, so not totally surprising. And YES, you should try this. A perfect recipe for the Jimmy.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Teagan Geneviene March 19, 2017 at 7:06 am #

    Kathryn, you are amazingly creative. This sounds like another winner. Mega hugs!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Teagan Geneviene March 19, 2017 at 7:12 am #

      Woah… hold on. I missed the layoff comment, had to go back. I’m so sorry. I know that is hugely stressful. Been there. I believe with all my heart that you will be just fine. Here’s another great big hug.

      Liked by 2 people

      • anotherfoodieblogger March 19, 2017 at 8:27 am #

        Aww shucks, thank you Teagan. It wasn’t a total surprise, we have a layoff almost every time this year. xoxoxo

        Liked by 1 person

    • anotherfoodieblogger March 19, 2017 at 8:26 am #

      Thank you dear! xoxoxo

      Like

  15. cookingwithauntjuju.com March 19, 2017 at 8:43 am #

    I missed Debbie’s post so thanks for posting your version. Never made homemade cheese but I always buy a good quality at Whole Foods. Sorry about your layoff – companies just don’t appreciate good people πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • anotherfoodieblogger March 19, 2017 at 8:55 am #

      Thank you Judi! A good store bought ricotta works just as great. And yeah, it’s all a bean counter thing at this time of year, nothing personal, right?

      Like

  16. lulu March 19, 2017 at 8:52 am #

    This is my kind of dish! Your recipe for ricotta makes it very doable.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Snapshotsincursive March 19, 2017 at 9:09 am #

    Oh. My. Gosh! Yumolicious! 🌿

    Liked by 1 person

  18. chefkreso March 19, 2017 at 9:55 am #

    Looks incredible! I have to try this next week 😁

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Tracey O'Brien March 19, 2017 at 11:56 am #

    Delicious! I love using Italian sausage in pasta sauces – it’s my go-to when I can’t be bothered to make meatballs!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. D. Wallace Peach March 19, 2017 at 2:24 pm #

    This sounds amazing, Kathryn. I love all the ingredients and it sounds like something I can cook. I never knew that ricotta was so easy to make. I’m going to have to try it. What a treat.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Bernadette March 19, 2017 at 5:56 pm #

    Homemade ricotta is the best. I like it for breakfast with berries. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Gerlinde March 19, 2017 at 9:06 pm #

    I love a pasta dish like yours and all the ingredients, especially the homemade ricotta. I am so sorry that you got laid off. Hopefully you get a better job. You would mak a great full time blogger.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Conor Bofin March 20, 2017 at 1:16 am #

    Your photos are getting better and better. This is lovely. Keep the best side out and you will be back in the employment game in no time. PMA Positive Mental Attitude (as if you need to be told)
    Best,
    C

    Liked by 1 person

  24. lynne hoareau March 20, 2017 at 2:32 am #

    This sounds divine, in fact, I am putting this on my meal plan for the week. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Karina Pinella March 20, 2017 at 7:10 am #

    This is great. I didn’t know ricotta cheese sounds easy to make.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. apuginthekitchen March 20, 2017 at 6:04 pm #

    Looks delicious Kathryn, you have inspired me to make some ricotta. Going to do it tomorrow. Now I’m hungry!!

    Liked by 1 person

  27. PantryPortfolio March 21, 2017 at 6:55 am #

    I’ve never made homemade ricotta! This looks hearty and delicious. SO sorry about Friday. UGH. Maybe it is a sign that you should write a cookbook. Kathryn’s tips and tricks to spicy and savory treats!

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Michelle Williams March 21, 2017 at 12:10 pm #

    Great photos. I can taste it just by looking at it. YUM!

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Sheryl March 21, 2017 at 6:45 pm #

    It looks like so much fun to make Ricotta. Until I read this post, I had no idea how easy it is to make.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Freda @ Aromatic essence March 21, 2017 at 6:54 pm #

    That is making me hungry!! Looks so yummy!

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Lynz Real Cooking March 22, 2017 at 10:58 am #

    So hearty and healthy! Looks delicious!

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Bottomless Stomach March 22, 2017 at 10:28 pm #

    That looks great! I’ve been looking to try more recipes with ricotta cheese. Thanks for the inspiration! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Karen March 23, 2017 at 11:44 am #

    I didn’t have lunch today and this post has made me so hungry…your pasta looks great.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. FrugalHausfrau March 24, 2017 at 4:08 pm #

    I meant to comment earlier but I got all sidetracked because I wanted to compare your home-made ricotta to my mascarpone recipe. Very much alike but the mascarpone is quite a bit richer….I can’t wait to try it because ricotta is SOOO expensive around where the folk’s live and I have to drive into Sioux Falls, which is a huge bummer. I’m going to be making it all the time!! I’ll make this, and I’ve been wanting to make lemon ricotta pancakes…the list goes on!!

    Regardless the whole dish looks/sounds amazing. Love Debbie’s blog, too, btw!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • anotherfoodieblogger March 24, 2017 at 5:08 pm #

      I was simply amazed at how easy it is to make, and the flavor is amazing! We’ve been putting it on homemade pizza lately too. THANK YOU! I’ll have to look up your mascarpone recipe. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  35. Osyth March 29, 2017 at 1:24 pm #

    Are you sure that’s legal … it looks far too delicious! Bootlegged Pasta is what I’m going to call it when I cook it which I legally have to!

    Liked by 2 people

  36. Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC March 29, 2017 at 4:02 pm #

    Jumped over from the Senior Salon
    ~~~~~~~~~~~
    This looks wonderful – and I especially love the recipe for homemade ricotta. I knew it was possible but this is the first time I’ve run across a recipe for it. This post is a keeper – thanks for sharing.
    xx,
    mgh
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
    ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
    “It takes a village to educate a world!”

    Liked by 1 person

  37. watchingthedaisies March 30, 2017 at 8:09 am #

    I love the sound of that ricotta. I had never questioned how it was made before. I shall have to try it.

    Liked by 1 person

  38. Fourth Generation Farmgirl April 4, 2017 at 2:47 pm #

    Kathryn, I’m so sorry to hear about your being laid off. How frustrating, especially since you’d been there for a long while. Sending positive thoughts and hugs your way. Thinking of you! πŸ˜ŠπŸ’›πŸŒ»
    Also, this dish looks amazing!! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

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