Big-Batch Baked Penne With Spinach and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Baked Penne With Spinach
Hans Gissinger
The whole family will love this cheesy, gooey pasta casserole with wilted spinach and sweet sun-dried tomatoes. The unbaked pasta can be frozen, tightly sealed, for up to 3 months.

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Serves 16
preparation
30
minutes
cooking
85
minutes

Ingredients

1/4
cup
olive oil
8
cloves garlic, chopped
1
cup
oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
2
28-ounce cans crushed tomatoes
4
28-ounce cans whole tomatoes
1/4
cup
balsamic vinegar
kosher salt and black pepper
3
pounds
penne
4
5-ounce packages baby spinach
2
pounds
mozzarella, grated (about 8 cups)
1
cup
grated Parmesan (about 4 ounces)

Directions

  1. Divide the oil between 2 large saucepans and heat over medium heat. Divide the garlic and sun-dried tomatoes between the saucepans and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Divide the crushed tomatoes between the saucepans.
  2. Break up the whole tomatoes by cutting them up with scissors (while in the can) or by crushing them with your hands. Divide the tomatoes and vinegar between the saucepans; season each with 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 20 to 25 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, bring 2 large pots of water to a boil; add 1 tablespoon salt to each. Divide the pasta between the pots; cook for half the recommended time on the package directions (the pasta will continue to cook when it is baked). Drain the pasta; return it to the pots.
  4. Divide the spinach between the saucepans of sauce and cook, stirring, until the spinach begins to wilt, about 1 minute. Pour a saucepan of tomato sauce into each of the pasta pots and toss to combine.
  5. Divide one of the pots of the pasta mixture among four 8-inch square baking dishes (the dishes will be halfway full). Sprinkle each with 1 cup of the mozzarella. Dividing evenly among the dishes, top with the remaining pot of pasta mixture. Sprinkle each with 1 cup of the remaining mozzarella and ¼ cup of the Parmesan.
  6. To eat tonight: Bake the pasta on a rimmed baking sheet at 400° F until bubbling and beginning to brown, 15 to 20 minutes.
  7. To freeze and cook later: Freeze the unbaked pasta, tightly sealed, for up to 3 months. To cook, thaw the pasta and bake, uncovered, on a rimmed baking sheet at 400° F until heated through, bubbling, and beginning to brown, 25 to 30 minutes.
Kate Merker and Sara Quessenberry
August 2010

Nutritional Information

  • Per Serving
  • Calories 651
  • Fat 20 g
  • Sat Fat 9 g
  • Cholesterol 50 mg
  • Sodium 1,412 mg
  • Protein 32 g
  • Carbohydrate 86 g
  • Sugar 11 g
  • Fiber 8 g
  • Iron 7 mg
  • Calcium 468 mg
What does this mean? See Nutrition 101.

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