Baked Rigatoni with Spinach, Sausage, and Olives

Prep Time: 10 min Cook Time: 30 min
Servings: 6 Skill Level: easy

Classic Italian flavors abound in this cozy pasta dish loaded with sausage, cheese, and olives.


  • 1 pound (16-ounces) dry rigatoni (or other pasta such as Ziti or Penne)
  • 4 cups premade marinara sauce, divided use
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 12 ounces uncooked Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 6 ounces fresh baby spinach leaves (about 4 cups packed)
  • 1 can Pearls Simply Green Olives, drained and halved lengthwise
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional
  • ¼ cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 12 ounces whole-milk ricotta cheese
  • 8 ounces (2 cups) shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • 5 ounces (1 cup) freshly grated Parmesan

Cooking Instructions

  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350ºF.
  2. Cook the pasta until al dente according to the package instructions. Reserve 1/3 cup of the pasta cooking liquid, drain the pasta well, and return it to the pot.
  3. Stir in 3 cups of the marinara sauce plus the reserved pasta water.
  4. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage, cooking, stirring, and breaking it up, until it’s browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes.
  5. Stir the spinach into the sausage to wilt, then season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes.
  6. Stir the sausage mixture into the pasta along with the olives and basil.
  7. Spread 1 cup of marinara sauce over the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish (or the equivalent). Spread half of the pasta mixture over the sauce. Dollop half of the ricotta over the pasta, and sprinkle with half of the mozzarella and parmesan.
  8. Repeat the same layering process once more until you’ve used up all the ingredients.
  9. Bake the pasta until the sauce is bubbling around the edges, 20-25 minutes.
  10. Place the dish under the broiler to brown the cheese, 1-3 minutes. Serve warm.

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