14 oz. uncooked penne pasta, choose one that is high in fiber and protein 1 med. onion, chopped
1 Tbl. garlic, minced
1/2 - 1 lb. lean hamburger
2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 tsp. basil
1/2 tsp. Montreal Steak Seasoning
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika, optional
1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
14-18 oz. marinara sauce
8 oz. can tomato sauce
14 oz. diced tomatoes, roasted if available
9-12 oz. fresh spinach, optional
Cook pasta according to directions, but al dente; add in spinach last 1 minute of cooking if using.Cook for 2-3 minutes until spinach begins to wilt. Scoop out approximately 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Drain the spinach into a colander.In same pan that you had just cooked the spinach in, over medium heat, add the hamburger and onion; sauté until done, then add in garlic. Drain off any fat. To the hamburger mixture, add the Italian seasoning, basil, Montreal Steak seasoning, smoked paprika, balsamic vinegar, marinara sauce, tomato sauce and diced tomatoes. Pour approximately 1/4 cup of the pasta water into the empty marinara sauce bottle.
Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes to allow seasonings to hydrate and sauce to marry flavors. Then, gently stir in the penne pasta and cheese and heat through. Serve hot.
Carrie Groneman's recipe
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