Pasta! My absolute favorite Carb! I mean…who doesn’t like Pasta?!?! That would just be Un-American! Or Un-Italian! Or…Un-Everything Normal in this Entire Universe!!!! Pasta is one of those foods that is so easy to keep handy in the pantry. So many different shapes, sizes and uses! Homemade or dried, it’s so versatile and quick to use for a well planned meal or for any last-minute meals like this one!!
I have been away from Simple Southern Living for a couple of weeks because I catered my first wedding (more to come on that very, very soon…EEEK)! So the last thing I’ve really wanted to do since was a lot of cooking! But this week, I had a real craving for some good, hearty pasta! So here is what I had in the pantry. Everything but the sausage & fresh herbs.
**Disclaimer…the wine is not for use in the recipe! That was all for me to enjoy. All by itself. All of it.
This is only a 2 pot meal, so very easy clean up! Get your pasta water started while you are chopping the onion, garlic & herbs and preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Next you will want to heat a pan large enough for all of the ingredients. I used a 12″ Stainless Chicken Fryer. (If you don’t have a big enough pan…you’ll have 3 pots because you’ll need a casserole dish later.)
Brown the Wright’s mild sausage & lean ground beef with the onion & garlic you just chopped. I didn’t use any oil. The sausage had enough oil to brown ground beef without adding any extra. Which meant I also didn’t have to drain my pan! Also add in the red pepper flakes, salt & pepper. Once this is browned, your pasta water should be ready to boil the noodles. Make sure you always salt pasta water! To quote the great Mario Batali, now a host on the wonderful show ‘The Chew’…”Salt the Water Like the Sea”! Boil the noodles until they are cooked al dente. Usually about 1-2 minutes less than the package instructions for my preference. Then drain.
Finish the sauce while the noodles are boiling. Add in your whole tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano, basil & more salt & pepper if needed. Let the mixture simmer & reduce down slightly. For any Italian dishes that call for tomatoes, I always use whole San Marzano Tomatoes. They are easy to break up in the pan while you stir and I think they just have more flavor. I usually use Cento San Marzano Whole Peeled Tomatoes.
Next add in heavy cream, spinach & parmesan cheese to sauce. You just want the spinach to be slightly cooked down. Then stir noodles into the mixture. Top with more parmesan & mozzarella cheese then bake in the oven for a few minutes until cheese is slightly melted & brown!
You can top this with a little more basil, olive oil and certainly some fresh grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese! Serve it with a salad, some toasted bread or just by itself! So easy and quick but everyone will think you were cooking away for hours! Let them think it!! This is a dish they will be saying “Complimenti Alla Cuoca”…or Compliments to the Cook!
Let me know what you think! Alla Salute!
Beef & Sausage Pasta with Spinach and Fresh Herbs
Credit: Simple Southern Living
1 lb of Lean Ground Beef
1 lb of Mild Sausage
3/4 pkg No Egg Pasta Ribbons
1 28 oz Can San Marzano Whole Tomatoes
3 oz Tomato Paste
3/4 Bag of Spinach
3/4 c. Parmesan Cheese & More for Topping
8 oz Fresh Mozzarella
1 c. of Heavy Cream
2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
1 Medium Onion, Diced
2 Garlic Cloves, Chopped
1 1/2 tbsp Chopped Fresh Oregano
5 Basil Leaves Chopped
Salt & Pepper to Taste
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees & boil water for the pasta.
2. Chop onion, garlic & fresh herbs.
3. Next brown the sausage, lean ground beef, red pepper flakes, onions & garlic in a heavy deep skillet.
4. Once this is browned, go ahead and salt the boiling pasta water very well then stir in the noodles. Cook 1-2 minutes less than the package directions then drain.
5. Finish the sauce while the noodles are boiling. Make sure there isn’t any excess oil in the pan. Drain if needed.
6. Add in the tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano, salt & pepper. Stir until the tomatoes are broken up and mixed well.
7. Let sauce reduce a little.
8. Add in fresh basil, heavy cream, parmesan cheese & spinach. Let spinach cook down slightly.
9. Finally stir in noodles and toss to coat.
10. Add any salt & pepper to taste if needed. Top with parmesan and slices of mozzarella.
11.Bake just until cheese is melted and slightly brown.
12. Drizzle with olive oil, fresh parm or more basil if you like.