Now I know I am anti-green peppers but if you like them you can toss one in with the other bell peppers. I used 1 each of red, yellow, and orange. For the meat I used local-raised longhorn beef but you can use any lean ground meat. If you don’t keep it lean you will end up with a greasy sauce which is not tasty. To drain the spinach just use a kitchen towel by placing the thawed frozen spinach in it, twisting and squeezing it until all the liquid comes out. Then just run a knife through the dried spinach to cut it up into finer pieces. It doesn’t change the flavor much so you can leave it out if you like but I like to sneak in the extra nutrition when I can. I topped it off with some crumbled goat cheese which my family loved.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, diced small
- 3 bell peppers (any combination of red, yellow, or orange, seeded and diced small)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 pinch red pepper flakes (2 pinches if you like more heat)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 2 jalapenos, seeded and ribs removed, minced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 lbs ground meat
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 (14 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
- 1 (14 ounce) can tomato sauce
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 5 ounces frozen spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry, chopped fine
- salt and pepper
- 1 lb short pasta
- Heat oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bell peppers, onion, salt, pepper flakes and bay leaf. Cook until the onions are softened and turn translucent.
- Stir in the tomato paste and paprika, cook 1 to 2 minutes. Add the garlic and jalapenos and cook 30 seconds then toss in the ground meat and dried oregano, and cook, breaking up with a spoon, until no longer pink.
- Pour in the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, and Worcestershire. Bring to a boil and add in the dried and chopped spinach. Reduce to a simmer and continue to cook about 20 minutes (while you prepare the pasta.).
- In a large pot bring water to a boil and prepare your pasta as directed on the package. Once done drain well and return to the large pot.
- Salt and pepper your meat sauce to taste and remove the bay leaf. Pour the sauce into the large pot with the pasta. Stir until well combined and the pasta is coated.