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This complete recipe is made in one pot over the stove. This is a "killer" dish, and very easy to make. You can really use how many Italian sausages you desire, I like to use 5 spicy sausages, along with the ground beef... I have even made this dish using about 2 pounds all sausage meat with the casings removed. The jalapeno pepper is optional, add it in if you like heat. Serve this with crusty rolls or bread. You can even cook the pasta before adding it in, or use any small leftover cooked pasta for this dish.
- 3 -4 tablespoons oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped (optional)
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh garlic (or to taste)
- 1⁄2-3⁄4 lb lean ground beef (can use less) or 1⁄2-3⁄4 lb ground pork (can use less)
- 5 large Italian sausages, casings removed (or use about 2 pounds all Italian sausages, casings removed!)
- 1⁄2-1 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes (or to taste)
- 2 (14 ounce) cans diced tomatoes (with juice)
- 2 (14 ounce) cans chicken broth, undiluted
- 1 (15 ounce) can white kidney beans (cannellini, drained)
- 1⁄2 cup small elbow macaroni
- 1 (6 ounce) bag baby spinach leaves
- 1⁄2 cup grated parmesan cheese (additional for sprinkling)
- salt and pepper
- Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat.
- Add in onion, garlic, jalapeno pepper (if using) dried oregano, and basil; saute for about 6-7 minutes.
- Add in the ground beef or ground pork, crushed chili flakes and sausage meat, breaking up any large pieces with a fork; cook for about 7 minutes.
- Add in the tomatoes with juice, drained beans, broth, salt and pepper; mix to combine, cover with lid and simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally (can simmer longer).
- Add in the uncooked macaroni and cook for about 15 minutes until firm-tender.
- Add in the fresh spinach leaves and cook JUST until wilted (about 4-5 minutes).
- Add in 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, and season with more salt and pepper if desired.
- Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with more Parmesan cheese.