Stovetop Spinach and Sausage Penne is a simple one dish meal. Veggie loaded, ready in just 45 minutes, and guaranteed to please! (Grain free/gluten free option included)
Anyone else love simple one dish recipes that bring in rave reviews and leave you with fewer dishes to clean?
If that’s you, you’re going to love this Stovetop Spinach and Sausage Penne!
It’s hearty, nutrient dense, full of amazing Italian flavors, and easy to make.
If you’re serving a bigger crowd, double the recipe and cook it in a larger skillet or Dutch oven. I only have 4 in my family, but I love that a double recipe makes enough for leftovers so I can take the next night off!
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Which Pasta Should You Buy? (White vs. Ancient Grain vs. Gluten Free)
I’ve shared before how our trip to Italy gave me a taste for real Italian pasta – made with non-GMO flour, cut thick, and cooked al dente.
We don’t eat pasta very often but, when we do, I go for the good stuff. Below are some of my favorites, including acient grain and grain free/gluten free pasta)
Best White Pasta – La Molisana
La Molisana is a 100+ year old Italian company that’s still committed to making pasta the old fashioned way. It’s thick cut, has a dense texture, and holds up beautifully to sauces and toppings – it’s everything authentic Italian pasta should be!
Best Ancient Grain Pasta – Jovial
Jovial is another Italian company that sells flours, pastas, and other grain products made from Einkorn, an organic and unhybridized strain of wheat that is easier on the digestive system. It’s texture and flavor fall somewhere between white and whole grain pastas.
Best Gluten Free/Grain Free Pasta – Banza
As my son has begun to transition off the GAPS Diet, he has loved getting to experiment with a variety of bread and pasta alternatives. We’ve tried our fair share of gluten free and grain free pastas, most of which were a bust. But, a while back, the good people at Banza sent me a box of their chickpea pastas to try. I was skeptical at first, but theirs is the closest thing to “real pasta” we’ve tried! If you have gluten or grain restrictions or are just looking to boost your intake of plant goods, definitely check them out!
Whatever pasta you choose, you’ll love this recipe. And, with two servings of vegetables in every helping, you can feel good about eating it too!
- 1 Tbsp pastured tallow lard, or other heat stable cooking fat
- 1/2 large yellow onion chopped
- 1 red bell pepper chopped
- 6 cloves garlic minced
- 1 pound Italian sausage See Notes section for the DIY Italian Sausage seasoning I add to ground beef as a sub for Italian sausage!
- 1 cup chicken broth homemade broth if you have it!
- 2 cups marinara sauce
- 1 Tbsp dried oregano
- 1/2 Tbsp dried basil
- 3/4 tsp sea salt
- black pepper and cayene to taste I like just a few dashes of both, but feel free to add more if you like things spicier
- 8 oz penne pasta - see Notes below for my favorite regular ancient grain, and grain/gluten free pastas!
- 6 oz baby spinach
- 4 oz fresh mozzarella grated
- 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
- Fresh basil and and Parmesan for garnish
Melt tallow in large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and bell pepper and saute until translucent. Add garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant.
Add Italian sausage, turn up to medium high, and use wooden spoon to break into small/medium pieces as it browns.
Once sausage is no longer pink an has begun to brown, reduce heat to low-medium heat. Add chicken broth, marinara, dried herbs, salt, pepper, and cayenne, stirring well.
Stir in the penne, reduce heat to low, and cover, allowing to simmer approx 15 minutes, or until pasta is al dente.
Remove lid, add baby spinach, and stir until wilted. Stir in mozzarella until melted and thoroughly mixed in.
Drop spoonfuls of ricotta around the pan. Garnish with ribbons of fresh basil and fresh grated Parmesan just before serving.
My favorite pastas are:
Regular pasta: La Molisana (made with white flour, imported from Italy)
Ancient grain pasta: Jovial (made with Einkorn ancient grain, imported from Italy)
Grain and Gluten Free Pasta: Banza (definitely the best grain/gluten free pasta I've tried!)
Easy substitute for Italian sausage: ground beef + this Italian seasoning blend