This was a tasty dish, but it was a lot more work than I anticipated. So many of the ingredients need to be cooked and/or prepped ahead of time (cook the sausage, cook the onion, cook the noodles, defrost and drain the spinach) so it took a lot more planning and time than I thought it would. It also required using several different pots and pans to prepare this meal and since I'm stuck doing the cooking AND cleaning, I hate that :) As I said earlier, though, the dish was yummy. So if you don't mind the extra work, it definitely tastes good. The only recommendation I'd make is that you only keep it in the oven uncovered for 5-10 minutes. I found leaving it in there uncovered for 15 minutes made the top noodles too crunchy.
Sausage 'n' Spinach Pasta Bake
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Bake: 1 Hour
- 8 ounces uncooked rigatoni
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup finely chopped onion (about 1 medium)
- 1 (10-oz.) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
- 3 cups cooked, crumbled hot Italian sausage
- 1 (14.5-oz.) can Italian-style diced tomatoes
- 1 (8-oz.) container chive-and-onion cream cheese
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups (6 oz.) shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1. Prepare rigatoni according to package directions.
- 2. Meanwhile, spread oil on bottom of an 11- x 7-inch baking dish; add onion in a single layer.
- 3. Bake at 375° for 15 minutes or just until tender. Transfer onion to a large bowl, and set aside.
- 4. Drain chopped spinach well, pressing between layers of paper towels.
- 5. Stir rigatoni, spinach, sausage, and next 3 ingredients into onion in bowl. Spoon mixture into baking dish, and sprinkle evenly with shredded mozzarella cheese.
- 6. Bake, covered, at 375° for 30 minutes; uncover and bake 15 more minutes or until bubbly.
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