Chicken Sausage and Veggie Pasta Bake
Ingredients (Serves 3 – 4)
1. Pasta (penne / rotini) – 2.5 – 3 cups (I used whole grain rotini. You can use any pasta you prefer)
2. Chicken sausage – 2 – 3 links,sliced into rounds or small bite-sized pieces
3. Olive oil – 1.5 tbsp
4. Mushroom – 1/2 cup, sliced
Red bell pepper – 1/2 cup, sliced
5. Onion – 1/2 cup, chopped
Garlic – 3, minced
6. Marinara sauce – 1.5 cups
7. Baby spinach – 3 cups, loosely packed
Basil leaves – 4 – 5 torn
8. Parmesan cheese – 1/4 cup, grated
Mozzarella cheese, shredded – 1 cup heaped or as required to taste
9. Salt and pepper – To taste
1. Cook pasta according to package directions until al dente. Drain when done.
2. While the pasta is cooking, heat 1 – 2 tsp olive oil in a pan at medium-high heat. Add in mushroom and cook for 1 minute. Next add red bell pepper and cook for a minute. Transfer to a plate.
Heat 2 tsp oil in the same pan and fry the sausage pieces stirring occasionally until lightly browned. Add a pinch of pepper powder. Transfer to a plate.
3. Heat 2 tsp oil in the same pan and add onion and garlic. Stir for 2 – 3 minutes and add marinara sauce. Mix well and cook for a minute. Add cooked veggies and sausage. Next add baby spinach and torn basil leaves and cook covered for 1 minute (or stir everything for a minute) until spinach wilts. Add cooked pasta and mix well.
4. Transfer half of the cooked pasta mixture to a greased 13 x 9 inch baking dish(I used 2 small baking dishes). Top with 2 tbsp parmesan cheese and half of the mozzarella cheese. Add the remaining pasta mixture followed by the remaining parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese.
5. Preheat oven at 375 F. Bake for 20 – 22 minutes until cheese melts. Broil for the last one minute. Serve immediately!