1/1 Photo of Baked Penne With Sausage and Spinach (Oven or Crock-Pot)
This baked pasta recipe is great for a potluck, or to take to someone who is in need of a home-cooked "comfort" meal. It's very flavorful, simple to prepare, and inexpensive to make. You can bake it in the oven or make it in the crockpot (instructions included). I particularly like the blend of fresh and zesty ingredients (spinach, fresh mozarella, pesto and hot sausage). For a fantastic meal, serve it with my Pepperoni Bread (Using Refrigerator Loaf), #291227.
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- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 cup onion, finely chopped (1 medium onion)
- 1 lb Italian sausage, hot (or mild if you prefer)
- 3 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes (I like Cento brand)
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup pesto sauce, bottled (I use homemade)
- 1 lb penne pasta
- 2 cups baby spinach leaves, fresh, coarsely chopped
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, cubed (or 4 oz. normal mozzarella)
- 1 cup parmesan cheese, divided usage
- 1Preheat oven to 375. Grease a deep lasagna pan (or two 9x9 pans). Crockpot instructions are at the bottom.
- 2SAUCE: In a large deep saucepan, heat oil. Add onion and saute slowly until onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Add sausage to pan; continue to saute and break up sausage into bite size pieces. When sausage is just about done, add garlic for a minute or two. Finally, pour red wine into pan and bring wine to a boil to evaporate alcohol and eliminate most of the liquid.
- 3Add tomatoes to other ingredients. Pour about 1/2 cup water into the tomato can to clean out the can - add this water to the pot. Add pesto. While this simmers about 10 minutes, cook the pasta.
- 4PASTA: Bring plenty of salted water to boil for pasta (lots of water will prevent sticky pasta). Cook according to package directions; drain.
- 5In a large mixing bowl, toss hot cooked pasta, chopped fresh spinach and tomato/sausage sauce. DO NOT ADD CHEESE YET. Continue combining hot ingredients until spinach wilts slightly, THEN add cubed mozzarella and 1/2 CUP of the Parmesan cheese. Toss quickly and pour into your prepared baking dish (if you work with the cheese too long, it will become a stringy mess!).
- 6Sprinkle final 1/2 CUP Parmesan on top.
- 7Bake 375 for 30 minutes, uncovered, until hot and bubbly.
- 8CROCKPOT VERSION FOR A CROWD: Double recipe. Make sure pasta is a bit undercooked (slightly firm). Pour into crockpot; add 1 cup hot water around the edges. Cook on HIGH 3 hours.
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Nutritional Facts for Baked Penne With Sausage and Spinach (Oven or Crock-Pot)
Serving Size: 1 (208 g)
Servings Per Recipe: 12
- Amount Per Serving
- % Daily Value
- Calories 402.4
- Calories from Fat 168
- Total Fat 18.7 g
- Saturated Fat 7.8 g
- Cholesterol 43.8 mg
- Sodium 796.5 mg
- Total Carbohydrate 39.2 g
- Dietary Fiber 5.8 g
- Sugars 1.2 g
- Protein 18.9 g
The following items or measurements are not included: