Monday, December 1, 2014

Freezer Meal: Sausage and Spinach Pasta Bake

THIS meal from Skinny Taste. I am speechless.

I mean, c'mon! This is so unbelievably good. I am drooling, literally drooling, just thinking back to when I made this meal last week. (Blame it on the pregnancy hormones.)

I need to be honest. I did not completely follow the recipe. I made the (smartest) decision (of my life) to make a double batch of this recipe right off the bat. One to have for dinner, and one to freeze for postpartum (more on my full list of freezer meals for postpartum soon).

Since I was making a double batch, I found it was easier to just use the ingredients below. 

Please remember, this recipe below makes a double batch
Half the ingredients if you only want a single batch.

Sausage and Spinach Pasta Bake
adapted from Skinny Taste

Serves 16 (1 1/3 cup portions)

2 boxes penne pasta
2 jars Bertolli marinara sauce
2 packages Al Fresco chicken sausage
1 container grated parmesan and romano cheese 
24 ounces of part skim ricotta cheese
16 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
20 ounces fresh chopped spinach
4 tbsp minced garlic


Preheat the oven to 375°. Spray a 9- x13-inch baking dish with olive oil spray. 

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, the grated parmesan and romano and half of the mozzarella cheese.

In a two large deep skillets, brown equal amounts of the sausage, breaking up into small bits until cooked through. Add equal amounts of minced garlic to each skillet. Add spinach and cook with lid until spinach is wilted. Add the marinara sauce; cook on low about 2-3 minutes.

When the pasta water comes to a boil, cook pasta according to instructions for al dente, but undercook them by 4 minutes less; drain and return to pot.

Put half of the cooked pasta into the prepared baking dish and top with half of the meat sauce. Spoon the ricotta mixture on top of the sauce in an even layer. Cover with the remaining pasta and the remaining sauce. Top with the remaining mozzarella.

Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 6-7 minutes or until the mozzarella is melted and the edges are lightly browned.

Freeze the other portion for later, if desired.

 Freezer meal #1 is frozen, ready for us to bake and eat postpartum! (Let's hope I can wait that long to dig in!)

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