Quick comfort food

On » Tuesday, December 21, 2010 //
This cheesy baked pasta from Tessa of Handle the Heat is both nourishing and simple enough for a busy weeknight. 

Cheesy Baked Pasta
(Serves 4-6)
Adapted from Back to Her Roots

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 pound chicken sausage
  • 12 ounces whole wheat penne, or other small pasta shape
  • 1 cup tomato sauce (homemade or jarred)
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 1 cup shredded mozzerella 
  • 1/4 cup shredded parmesan
  • 1/4 cup basil, sliced into thin ribbons


• Preheat oven to 375°F. Bring a large pot of water to a boil on stove and cook penne for about 7 minutes, or until slightly cooked but still firm. The pasta will finish cooking in the oven.
• Meanwhile, heat oil to medium-high heat in a large skillet. Saute pepper and onions until they soften, about 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
• Add chicken sausage and saute until cooked through, breaking up into small pieces. Turn off the heat and add the cooked and drained pasta and tomato sauce to the skillet. Toss to combine. Mix in the spinach until it is warmed through and slightly wilted.
• Pour half of the mixture into a baking dish (about 8x8) and sprinkle with half of the mozzerella. Pour remaining pasta mixture into baking dish and sprinkle with remaining mozzerella, parmesan, and basil. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until cheese has melted.

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