Baked Penne with Spinach and Mozzarella

A hearty one dish meal. Make it ahead, cover and refrigerate until ready to bake.


1 pound penne pasta, cooked al dente
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 spicy Italian sausage links, casings removed, sausage cut into small pieces
1 medium onion, chopped
3 large cloves garlic, minced
3 (14.5 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup pesto, homemade or purchased at store
2 cups mozzarella cheese, grated
8 ounces baby spinach leaves
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, divided


Preheat oven to 350 °.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add sausage, onions and garlic. Sauté until sausage is cooked through. Stir in tomatoes, tomato paste, honey and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5-8 minutes. Stir in pesto.

Meanwhile cook pasta according to package directions. Drain well; put pasta back in cooking pot. Add mozzarella, spinach leaves and ¼ cup of Parmesan cheese. Toss until spinach and cheese are well distributed. Stir in tomato sauce.

Spoon mixture into a 9x13-inch baking pan. Sprinkle top with remaining ¼ cup of Parmesan cheese.

Bake for 30-40 minutes or until bubbly. Let sit 5-10 minutes before serving.

Serves: 4-6

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