I’ve had to get creative with recipes including sausage lately because we suddenly have a few pounds of it in the freezer. It’s not something I typically buy, but there is a story behind all this extra sausage.
So one night, Justin comes home from a meeting, and I ask how it went, as usual. He proceeds to tell me about the meeting and ends with, “Oh, and I also got 3 pounds of homemade sausage.” My first thought, “Um…. what?!” One of the guys in his networking group has a family tradition of making homemade sausage every year for the holidays. Initially, it was a small family thing, and they would give a bit away to close friends. Over time, more and more people learned about the tradition and wanted to purchase some of their sausages. It has grown so much that, this past year, they made over 400 pounds of Italian sausage! He was selling it to anyone at the meeting who wanted some, so Justin bought two pounds of regular sausage and one pound of spicy.
I found this recipe in the Cooking Light magazine, and we thought it sounded yummy and a great way to use up some of this sausage. The sausage and spinach spaghetti pie is also a great meal to make on a budget since there aren’t any expensive ingredients, and it makes enough for leftovers the next day.
The recipe says to start by placing an 8-inch round cake pan in the oven while it preheats to 500 degrees. I’ve never heated a pan on its own before, and I’ve never used the oven at this high of a temperature, so it was all new for me. While the oven heats, cook the pasta as directed, then drain and mix in a large bowl with eggs and toss to coat.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high and add the sausage, cooking for a few minutes until it is cooked through. I find it easiest to either use your hands to break up the sausage before adding it to the pan or use the kitchen shears to cut it into bite-sized pieces.
Once the sausage is cooked, add the tomato, onion, and spinach. Cook this for about 7-10 minutes or until the liquid in the pan has evaporated and the spinach has wilted.
Combine the sausage with the pasta mixture in the large bowl. Add salt and pepper as well as 1/2 cup of Italian blend cheese. Stir it all together until it is mixed well.
Carefully remove the cake pan from the oven and spray with cooking spray. Fill the pan with the sausage and pasta mixture and top with remaining 1/4 cup of cheese (or more if you are like me and like a lot of cheese).
Bake for about 5-10 minutes at 500, until the cheese is melted and starts to brown. Cut into wedges to serve.
- 8 oz spaghetti uncooked
- 2 eggs beaten
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 3 oz italian sausage
- 1 tomato chopped
- 1/2 onion diced
- 5 oz spinach leaves
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup Italian blend cheese shredded
Place an 8-inch round baking pan in the oven and preheat to 500 with pan inside
Cook pasta as directed until almost done
Drain pasta, add to a mixing bowl, and toss with the eggs
While pasta is cooking, heat oil in a large skillet then add sausage, breaking it up as you add it, and cooking until done
Add the tomato, onion, and spinach to the pan
Cook for about 5-7 minutes, until the spinach has wilted and liquid is almost completely evaporated
Remove sausage from heat and combine in the large bowl with the pasta
Stir in the salt, pepper, and 1/2 cup of the cheese and mix thoroughly
Carefully remove the pan from the oven, coat with cooking spray, and fill with the pasta and sausage mixture
Sprinkle 1/4 cup of cheese over the pasta and bake at 500 for about 8-10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and starts to brown
Remove from the oven and cut into wedges to serve
Src: Cooking Light magazine October 2016