BAKED SAUSAGE RIGATONI WITH SPINACH

Baked Sausage Rigatoni with Spinach | Easy and delicious comfort food. Love one pan meals! clubnarwhal.blogspot.com
This Baked Sausage Rigatoni with Spinach is comfort food to the max. It is the perfect way to stay cozy on a frigid winter’s eve–plus, it’s fancy enough for a dinner party and easy enough for a weeknight meal. In short, this baby is a win win situation all around. 
And can we just take a moment to bask in those golden, bubbly mountains of cheese?
Baked Sausage Rigatoni with Spinach | Easy and delicious comfort food. Love one pan meals! clubnarwhal.blogspot.com
I mean, just really bask in the awesome. This casserole is soul satisfying in the way only a massive pan of cheesy pasta can be. It is especially delicious when combined with a hunk of crusty bread, some mixed greens dressed in lemon and olive oil, and a gaggle of your closest friends/family. Make it tonight–I promise it won’t disappoint! 
P.S. leftovers make a truly miraculous lunch.
What’s your favorite way to eat pasta?
Baked Sausage Rigatoni with Spinach | Easy and delicious comfort food. Love one pan meals! clubnarwhal.blogspot.com

BAKED SAUSAGE RIGATONI WITH SPINACH
Adapted from Proud Italian Cook
  • 1 pound rigatoni noodles
  • a few handfuls of baby spinach (about 3 cups)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 5 Italian sausage links, casings removed (one package, I used turkey sausage)
  • 2 cans whole tomatoes (28 oz. each)
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • a few grinds of pepper
For the cheese mix
  • 15 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 2 cups shredded Italian cheese blend
Boil the rigatoni for 7-8 minutes, until al dente. Add the spinach and boil with the pasta until just wilted. Drain and set aside. Meanwhile, make the tomato sausage sauce by simmering the onions and garlic in the olive oil. Add the sausage and cook until the meat is completely cooked. Dump the tomatoes and spices in and simmer for twenty minutes to get the flavors to meld.
While the tomato sausage sauce is simmering, make the ricotta cheese mix by folding in the ricotta, egg, parmesan and basil. Stir until completely combined. *Don’t add the shredded Italian cheese yet, we’ll put that in between the pasta layers.
To assemble the rigatoni, ladle a cup of sauce into the bottom of a greased 9 x 13 pan. Put half of the pasta/spinach mix over the sauce and ladle another cup or two of sauce onto it. Spoon half of the ricotta mix in dollops over the sauce and sprinkle with half of the shredded cheese. Repeat the previous steps, ending with a layer of shredded cheese. I sprinkled some more grated Parmesan on top to help get it all nice and golden brown.
Cover pan with foil and bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees. Uncover and turn the oven up to 400. Bake for another 15 minutes, until the cheese on top is golden and bubbly. Enjoy!

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