Baked Macaroni with Sausage and Spinach

 

With Memorial Day fast approaching here in the U.S., thoughts turn to a long weekend, outdoor gatherings around the grill, the unofficial start of summer and of course, remembering all those who died while serving to defend our nation. When I think about the countless number of lives that have been lost, I am saddened. I wonder if in my lifetime or if in any, there will ever be a time when there is global peace. Imagine people agreeing to disagree and living as human beings rather than enemies to kill because of differences. One can only pray…

But before I turn this post into a deep philosophical discussion, let me refocus back to this coming long weekend and a lighter subject matter — food. I usually host Memorial Day and the menu centers around all things that can be thrown onto the grill. Haven’t even thought of a menu yet, but I’m not worried. And with my family, we always make it a potluck so that one person isn’t left with the burden of cooking everything — it’s always more fun and delicious that way.

My biggest concern though is what the weather will be on the day of our celebration. I have been keeping an eye on the extended forecast and with each day, I’m constantly seeing a different forecast. At this point, I just don’t want rain so that we can be outdoors. Crossing my fingers… I hope that you’ll also have fantastic weather for your celebrations.

In the meantime, let me share my latest “baked” savory recipe. Believe it or not, it was inspired from lasagna because of the cheesy filling I created to bind the pasta together.

1227 Foster: Sausage and Spinach Baked Macaroni

I had leftover ricotta from another recipe and for me, ricotta always makes me think of lasagna. While I love lasagna, I don’t love all the work that goes into making and layering it. It’s a lot of work, but I’ll always make it from scratch for family gatherings.

1227 Foster- Baked Macaroni_

What I love about this dish is that the ricotta creates a distinctive, mild flavor with each bite when combined with the pecorino romano and provolone cheeses. And for all the meat lovers out there, the Italian sausage is a great addition along with the beautiful contrast of color you get with the chopped spinach.

1227 Foster: Sausage and Spinach Baked Macaroni

It’s super easy and is perfect as a dinner entrée or even a side dish. I hope you give this a try and let me know what you think. But I know you and your family are going to enjoy it!

1227 Foster: Sausage and Spinach Baked Macaroni

Baked Macaroni with Sausage and Spinach

Serves 4
Meal type Main Dish, Side Dish
Misc Serve Hot
Occasion Casual Party
Website 1227 Foster

Ingredients

  • 6 Italian Sausages (uncooked)
  • 2 cups Elbow Macaroni
  • 1 cup Pecorino Romano Cheese (shredded)
  • 1 cup Provolone (shredded)
  • 16oz Ricotta Cheese
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 medium Onion (chopped)
  • 2 cups Spinach (chopped)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Basil (dried)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Oregano (dried)
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Pepper (to taste)
  • Cooking Oil
  • Nonstick Spray

Directions

Step 1
Prepare macaroni according to package directions, drain then set aside. At this time, also preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Step 2
Drizzle cooking oil into a large pot and place over medium heat. Once oil is hot, add in onion and sauté for a few minutes.
Step 3
Squeeze out sausage from casing into pot and cook with onions until browned and crumbled.
Step 4
While sausage is browning, combine cheeses with eggs, spinach and herbs in a large mixing bowl. Mix well, then lightly season with salt and pepper.
Step 5
Add in sausage and macaroni and mix well.
Step 6
Spray a large baking dish with non-stick cooking spray then pour the macaroni mixture in and bake for 25 minutes, covered.

 

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10 Comments

  1. Danny: you may be making this for Memorial Day, but with our weather suddenly having turned quite visciously cold and windy, the baked pasta seems to be more than suited to us too :) ! Like the inclusion of the spinach and herbs: may tweak the way I do this to use my fresh ones from the garden and a tad more to boot to really make a point! Methinks your Memorial Day is very like our ANZAC Day, commemorated last month . . . happy to say that here more and more young people are seeing the reason for it and they too are actively hoping for peace in our time . . .

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    • Hi Eha! Yes, you never know with the weather situation so this could be a great side dish with whatever we decide to grill :) love learning about other holidays and celebrations – I will have to look up your ANZAC Day! Thank you!

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  2. Danny, this looks and sounds delicious. I do love ricotta and sausage and am looking forward to trying a gluten-free version of this! And thank you very much for the inspiration of peace.

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    • It is a great combo and the ricotta does a wonderful job of binding all the flavors together! Definitely try this with gluten-free pasta and I hope you enjoy it! Thanks!

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        • You are so right Wendy – easy and perfect for cooking outdoors! Have a great weekend!

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  3. Danny this is a fantastic meal! Love the ricotta in there & let’s face it, rain or shine I don’t think you’ll have any complaints over this dish.

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Diane! Thanks — yes this does well regardless of the weather :) Hope you’re doing well and have a great holiday weekend!

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  4. Hello Danny,
    I like the new updates to your website format. This kind of dish is a great make ahead dish for gatherings or just to make on the weekends so that the work week is not as chaotic. I like the addition of bright spinach. Take Care, BAM
    Bam’s Kitchen recently posted..Veggies in a Blanket with Red Pepper PestoMy Profile

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    • Thank you for the feedback on the site :) yes, this is a great dish for its versatility in any gathering one may have. I am still thinking of how good it was :)

      Post a Reply

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