This recipe was one that Nikki found and we all loved it. Super simple to make and I would give yourself about 1 hour from making to eating… Well worth it. If you have made it once before I think it could get down to about 45 minutes.
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for the pasta water
1 pound taccole pasta or lasagne pasta broken into 2-inch pieces
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon Calabrian Chili Paste, or 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 (5- ounce) container baby spinach
1 cup part skim ricotta cheese
1 pound spicy Italian sausage, casings removed
1 red onion, diced
4 cups jarred marinara sauce
2 1/2 cups shredded low moisture mozzarella, divided
1 1/2 cups freshly grated parmesan cheese, divided
- Boil water and salt to get your pasta set. Then Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Oil a sheet pan with 1 tablespoon oil set aside.
- Heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil along with the 2-3 garlic cloves and pepper flakes to the hot pan. Cook, stirring often until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the spinach and the salt and cook, stirring often, until the spinach is almost completely wilted, another minute. Remove the spinach mixture to a strainer and press firmly to remove any excess liquid. Place the spinach in a medium bowl. Using a pair of kitchen scissors, slice up the spinach into chopped pieces. Add the 1 cup ricotta cheese and stir to combine. Set aside.
- Using a paper towel, wipe out the skillet and bring it back to medium heat. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to the pan along with the sausage and cook, undisturbed until the sausage is beginning to brown on the first side, about 3 minutes. Using a wooden spoon, break apart the sausage into bite sized pieces. Continue to cook, stirring often and breaking apart as needed, until the sausage is lightly browned, another 5 minutes. Add the onion to the pan and cook until the onion is fragrant and beginning to soften, another 3 minutes. Remove from the heat.
- Cook the pasta for 4 minutes stirring often to avoid clumping. Drain well, reserving 1/2 cup of pasta water.
- While the pasta is cooking, add the marinara to the pan with the sausage and onion and mix well. Add the pasta water, pasta, 1 cup mozzarella cheese and 1/2 cup parmesan cheese to the same pan and stir to combine.
- Spread the entire mixture on the prepared 12 x 17-inch baking sheet. Dollop the pasta with the ricotta-spinach mixture, and sprinkle with remaining 1 1/2 cups mozzarella and 1 cup parmesan cheeses. Bake until the pasta is tender, the sauce is bubbly, and the top is lightly browned, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes before cutting into squares and serving. Serve with extra warm marinara if desired.