Turkey & Spinach Pasta Bake

  • 13 oz. box penne pasta
  • ½ lb. (8 oz.) frozen cut spinach
  • 3 links (12 oz.) Italian turkey sausage
  • 2 cups ( 8 oz.) shredded Italian cheese blend
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp dried basil
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • Freshly cracked pepper
  • 24 oz. jar (3 cups) marinara sauce
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Begin boiling a large pot of water. Once the water is boiling, cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain the pasta in a colander, then return it to the pot with the heat turned off. Add the marinara sauce and stir to combine.
  2. Meanwhile, squeeze the sausage out of its casing into a large skillet. Cook over medium heat until the sausage is fully browned, breaking it into small pieces with a spoon as it cooks. Drain the excess fat if needed.
  3. Allow the spinach to thaw at room temperature, or use the microwave to defrost until the spinach is softened, but not hot to the touch (warm is okay). Add half of the shredded cheese (1 cup) to the spinach, along with the garlic powder, basil, a pinch of red pepper flakes, and some freshly cracked pepper. Stir until the spinach, cheese, and seasonings are well combined.
  4. Coat a 9×9 inch casserole dish with non-stick spray. Spread half of the sauce coated pasta over the bottom of the dish. Evenly distribute the spinach mixture over the pasta and then add the browned sausage on top. Add the second half of the pasta and then top with the remaining 1 cup of cheese. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until heated through and the cheese on top is melted.

Source: http://www.budgetbytes.com/2013/11/turkey-spinach-pasta-bake/

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