Cheesy Baked Penne with Spinach and Italian Sausage
(Recipe from Back To Her Roots)
Ingredients (makes 8 servings):
1 pound whole wheat penne
4 cups fresh baby spinach
1 tablespoon olive oil
Pinch of red pepper flakes
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, diced
1 small green pepper, diced
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons flour
3 cups skim milk
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1 cup sundried tomatoes, diced
1-12 ounce package Italian chicken or turkey sausage, cut into thin coins
Preheat oven to 350°.
Cook penne according to package directions in a large stock pot, drain and return to stock pot.
Mix in spinach and set aside. The steam from the pasta will begin to wilt the spinach.
In the mean time, in a dutch oven or large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-low heat.
Add in red pepper flakes and garlic and cook for 3-4 minutes until fragrant.
Add in onion and green pepper and cook for 7-8 minutes or until tender.
Add in butter, oregano, salt and pepper. Once butter is melted, whisk in flour and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Then whisk in milk until well-combined. Continue to cook, whisking frequently, until sauce has thickened.
Remove from heat and stir in parmesan and 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese.
Add in sundried tomatoes and sausage coins.
Mix together the sauce mixture with the pasta and spinach mixture.
Pour into a 9 x 13 casserole dish.
Sprinkle top with remaining mozzarella cheese.
Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until cheese is brown and sauce is bubbly.