First off, let me just say this is one of my kids’ favorite meals, and since it’s also a very easy meal to make it’s one of my favorites too! Plus they end up eating a lot of spinach without mentioning anything about yucky green stuff which makes it even better. Ok, here goes (pay attention, ’cause this is gonna go quick)! You need:
- 1 package bulk Italian Sausage (My family likes the mild version, but feel free to use the sweet or hot instead).
- 1 jar Spaghetti Sauce (I like Barilla – use whichever brand you prefer. If you want to be fancy you could use a sauce with sausage in it).
- 1 clamshell package fresh baby spinach (I think its about 10oz. but more or less won’t hurt and you could even use a box of frozen spinach instead).
- 1/2 box of your favorite pasta (if you’re going to use the full box, double the rest of the ingredients).
Roll the bulk sausage into meatballs. The easiest way to do this is to score the meat with a knife in the packaging, going vertically and horizontally with about an inch between each line. Then just grab a square of meat at a time and roll it up into a ball. This will give you uniformly sized meatballs that will cook evenly.
Cook the meatballs in a dutch oven or other deep pan over medium high heat. Turn the meatballs after a few minutes so that they brown on all sides. If the meatballs don’t release from the bottom of the pan and turn easily, wait a minute more and try again.
While you’re cooking the meatballs chop the spinach into little pieces, and after the meatballs are browned add the chopped spinach and stir well. If you’d like to take out some of the fat you could remove the meatballs from the pan (drain them on paper towels on a plate) and pour out the excess fat, then add the meatballs and spinach back into the pan.
Once the spinach is wilted add the jar of sauce, along with a little bit of water (I throw in about 1/2 a jar of water).
Simmer the sauce and meatballs for about 10 minutes, until the sauce has reduced and thickened some and the meatballs are cooked through.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the package directions.
When both the sauce and pasta are done, drain the pasta and either plate it up with the sauce or mix it together with the sauce and meatballs and then serve it. I have a child who likes his noodles plain on the side so I don’t mix the meatballs and sauce with the pasta, but its nice if you do mix it because then all of the pasta ends up evenly coated with sauce.
I find that I don’t need to season the meatballs and sauce with salt and pepper, but you can try them and adjust the seasonings to your tastes.