Baked Pasta with Sausage, Mushroom, and Spinach

Baked Pasta with Sausage, Mushroom, and Spinach | Comfort food at it’s best!  So flavorful and delicious!

Baked Pasta with Sausage, Mushroom, and Spinach | www.winandglue.com | Comfort food at it's best!  So flavorful and delicious!

So you’ve heard how annoying FaceBook is for bloggers right?  How so few of our FB friends who have, of their own free will, clicked like on our pages, are seeing our posts?  For example, Wine & Glue has 11.5K FaceBook followers.  And FaceBook tells me how many of them see what I post.  Typically, only about 300 of the 11.5K see a each post.

It stinks.

Baked Pasta with Sausage, Mushroom, and Spinach | www.winandglue.com | Comfort food at it's best!  So flavorful and delicious!

Here’s the tricky tricky part.  The more people who interact with the posts (like, share, comment) the more people FB will show the post to.  So . . . ideally you want to post stuff that people really love and want to talk about, because the more they talk about stuff, the more people see it and whatever you post next.

#ihatesocialmedia

Baked Pasta with Sausage, Mushroom, and Spinach | www.winandglue.com | Comfort food at it's best!  So flavorful and delicious!

This is a reeeeeeeaaaaallly long winded way of telling you that this evening I was looking for funny things to post on my FB page that my FB friends would love, like, comment on, share, and maybe would even bring a smile to their faces.

And that’s how I found myself on Damn You Autocorrect.

You’ve visited that site right?  Ummm . . . I was laughing so hard I was crying.  I was literally crying.  The bummer is that there was nothing that was both hilarious and appropriate that I could share on my FB page, the good news is that it totally gave me a good laugh and on a day when Gavin had to stay home again sick.  (Between the sick days and the snow days, it is a small miracle that kid has learned anything this year.)  Nathan thought I had completely lost my mind because I was staring at the computer, laughing hysterically, and crying.

It’s cool, cabin fever sort of has made me lose my mind.

Baked Pasta with Sausage, Mushroom, and Spinach | www.winandglue.com | Comfort food at it's best!  So flavorful and delicious!

Okay, so if you are suffering from cabin-fever-snow-day-madness-and-the-flu-season-that-would-not-end, the first thing you are going to want to do is visit Damn You Autocorrect.

The second thing that you are going to want to do is make this Pasta Bake with Sausage, Mushroom, and Spinach!  It is so delicious.  It’s packed with amazing flavor, not to mention lean meat, and tons of veggies!  It’s the perfect cure for cabin-fever-snow-day-madness-and-the-flu-season-that-would-not-end.  :)

A note about this recipe:  I made this in an oven proof skillet.  I love that.  You go from cooking it on the stove top to popping it in your oven to brown the cheese and finish things off.  But!  If you don’t have a skillet that is oven proof (and you are going to want to check . . . ask me how I know . . . ) then after you mix in the 2 cups of cheese, but before you top it with the remaining cheese, transfer it to a lightly sprayed 13 by 9 inch glass baking dish.

Baked Pasta with Sausage, Mushroom, and Spinach | www.winandglue.com | Comfort food at it's best!  So flavorful and delicious!

Baked Pasta with Sausage, Mushroom, and Spinach

Ingredients

  • 2 TBSPs extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (less if you don't like much heat)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 to 1 1/2 pounds Italian seasoned sausage (I used Jenni-o Sweet Italian Sausage, casing removed)
  • 8 oz sliced baby portabella mushrooms
  • 1 TBSP Kosher salt
  • 28 ounces diced tomatoes in their juice
  • 1/2 TBSP dried oregano
  • 1/2 TBSP dried basil
  • 16 oz rigatoni noodles
  • 3 cups of fresh baby spinach
  • 4 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a large oven proof skillet (see recipe notes) over medium high heat, cook the extra virgin olive oil for a moment before adding the garlic and red pepper flakes. Stir for about thirty seconds to a minute and then add your turkey sausage. Break up the sausage and stir, allowing it to brown.
  3. When the sausage is no longer pink, add the sliced mushrooms, breaking them up into smaller pieces with your spoon.
  4. At this point you are going to want to put on a large pot of water for your pasta over high heat. Add a tablespoon of salt.
  5. Once the mushrooms are cooked and soft, add the tomatoes and their liquid. Stir to combine. Then add the basil and oregano, and continue to stir. Bring the sauce to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer and cover.
  6. Once your pasta water is at a roaring boil, add the noodles. Set your kitchen timer for about two minutes less than the time stated on the box. For example, my noodles said to cook them for 10 minutes, and I took them out at 8. You want the pasta to have a lot of bite left. At the end of the cooking time, drain the noodles and rinse them in cold water to stop the cooking.
  7. Uncover your sauce and stir in the spinach, allowing it to wilt. Continue to cook the sauce, uncovered for about five minutes.
  8. Stir in the noodles, making sure that the the sauce is evenly distributed throughout the dish.
  9. Very gently stir in one cup of cheese, and then the other. You don't want to stir in large clumps, or it will melt too quickly together and not be evenly distributed. Add the remaining two cups of mozzarella and the parmesan in an even layer over the top.
  10. Cook uncovered in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes until the cheese on top is fully melted and starting to brown.
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Comments

  1. says

    I agree – facebook is annoying – and really, so many social media outlets! I’ve been blogging for over 7 years and seriously feel like I should have more comments, more followers, more love…but that doesn’t always happen. Recipes like this though, will make people like me come back for more and more. Looks delicious! And of course I’ll keep shaing on Facebook and commenting! That’s what friends do! :) Have a great weekend!

    • says

      Thanks Stephanie! I’m so happy with how it turned out. My husband is a really picky eater (but happens to love mushrooms, lol!) so I asked him what he thought, and he thought just leave them out. I agree. One thing I love about these kinds of recipes is that you can tweak them really easily without throwing things too out of whack, unlike with baking. So I’d give it ago without the mushrooms (maybe add a little more spinach) and let me know how it goes! Oooo, or eggplant!

  2. Sue Cascio says

    I loved this recipe. I found your blog totally by accident! But if I may, it’s portabellO, not portabellA. Common mistake, but I thought u might want to know. I will be trying some more of your recipes!!

  3. Liz says

    The sauce was quite liquidy from the canned tomatoes before going into the oven. I drained a lot of it off. Is it supposed to be like that? Like does it help to cook the pasta while in the oven? It seemed like a lot. I just popped this in the oven about ten minutes ago, I hope I didn’t do the wrong thing and have this come out all dry :(

    • says

      Sorry Liz, I’m just seeing this now. The hope is that the pasta is under cooked just enough that the liquid from the sauce finishes it off in the oven. But there are a lot of steps involved, one of them being simmering the sauce, which would take some of the liquid off, so if that didn’t happen quite long enough, I could see how it could be too liquidy. Sorry, this isn’t super helpful, is it? How did it turn out?

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