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How to make Italian sausage and spinach pasta casserole

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Rigatoni pasta, Italian sausage, and spinach are all cooked together in a zesty tomato sauce in this delicious casserole. When you need to switch up your regular weekly night pasta meal, this is a great way to do it! Use hot Italian sausage, as in the recipe that follows, or tone down the heat by using mild sausage. You can even use turkey sausage if you'd like. With this recipe, the choice is all yours!
You can also use whatever type of pasta you'd like. But when you use rigatoni or another kind of pasta that is hollow in the center, all those delicious little bits of sauce, sausage, and spinach get sucked right in, making the entire thing perfectly flavorful. Whatever type of sausage or pasta you decide to use, when you make this recipe you may just find it's one of the best ways to put a spin on regular old pasta night!
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How to Make Italian Sausage and Spinach Pasta Casserole
6
15 minutes
1 hour
1 hour,15 minutes
3 cups dry rigatoni pasta
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
4 hot Italian pork sausages, meat removed from casing
1 onion, chopped in a small dice
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, with juices
1 teaspoon dried oregano
3 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup half-and-half cream
1 10-ounce package of frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese, divided
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a 9" x 13" casserole dish.
Cook pasta according to package directions. When done, drain and place back into the pot you cooked the pasta in.
While pasta is cooking, heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When hot, add Italian sausage and cook for about 4 minutes until it just begins to brown. Break up clumps as the sausage cooks.
Add onion to the sausage and continue cooking until sausage is no longer pink, about 4 more minutes.
Add garlic and cook for another 30 seconds.
To the sausage mixture add tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, oregano, basil, salt, and pepper.
Bring the tomato mixture up to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
Remove tomato mixture from heat, add cream, and stir well.
Add the tomato mixture to the pasta. Also add spinach, mozzarella cheese, 1 cup of Parmesan cheese, and mix again.
Pour the entire mixture into the prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese.
Place the casserole dish into the oven and bake for about 45 minutes, until the entire dish is hot and bubbling throughout and the cheese on top has melted.
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