Cheesy Chicken Sausage Pasta Bake
- 1 ½ tbsp olive oil
- 1 ½ cups diced red onions
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 cans of peeled and diced tomatoes
- 1 tbsp honey or sugar
- ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
- ¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
- 1 tsp dried oregano
For the marinara sauce:
- 500g Irvine’s Chicken Sausages, cut into bit-sized pieces
- 225g penne pasta
- 1 ½ tbsp olive oil
- 4 to 6 cups baby spinach leaves
- 1 ½ cups Mozzarella cheese, grated
- Chopped parsley, to garnish
For the pasta:
- Preheat the oven to 180°C.
- Make the marinara sauce: Heat 1 ½ tbsps of olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are softened and translucent. Add the minced garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add diced tomatoes and cook until the sauce starts bubbling at a rapid simmer, 1 to 2 minutes.
- Reduce heat to low and let the sauce continue slowly simmering for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Mix in honey, parsley, basil and oregano and cook for another minute. Season. Turn off heat. (Makes 2 ½ to 3 cups; keeps 4 to 5 days refrigerated or 3 months frozen).
- Cook the pasta according to package instructions. Drain and run pasta under cold water. Set aside.
- Make the sausage and spinach sauce: Heat 1 ½ tbsps of olive oil in a large oven-safe frying pan over medium-high heat. Add chopped Irvine’s Sausages and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, until the meat is cooked through. Add pasta sauce and heat for a minute. Add spinach and fold it into the sauce. The spinach should start wilting in 30 seconds.
- Bake the pasta: Add pasta to the oven-safe frying pan and stir until combined. Top with mozzarella cheese. Put the oven-safe frying pan in the oven and bake for 10 to 12 minutes until the cheese is bubbly and slightly browned at the edges.
- For a quicker alternative, skip the oven and just stir the cheese into the pasta until the cheese is melted.
- Garnish the pasta with chopped parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.