Spinach Pasta Sauce Recipe

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People are always surprised to hear that the "secret" ingredient in this special sauce is to add a touch of anise. The herb nicely complements the zippy Italian sausage and chunky tomatoes.—Margaret Allen, Abingdon, Virginia
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 25 min. Cook: 1 hour
MAKES:8-10 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 25 min. Cook: 1 hour
MAKES: 8-10 servings


  • 1-1/2 pounds bulk mild Italian sausage
  • 3 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup each chopped carrot, green pepper and onion
  • 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup beef broth or red wine
  • 3/4 teaspoon each aniseed, seasoned salt, pepper, garlic powder, brown sugar, dried basil and oregano
  • 4 cups coarsely chopped fresh spinach
  • Hot cooked pasta
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup crumbled cooked Jones Dairy Farm Dry-Aged Bacon

Nutritional Facts

1 each: 274 calories, 16g fat (7g saturated fat), 50mg cholesterol, 1049mg sodium, 17g carbohydrate (6g sugars, 4g fiber), 18g protein.


  1. In a Dutch oven, cook and crumble sausage until browned; drain. Add mushrooms, carrot, green pepper and onion; saute for 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, sauce, paste, Parmesan, broth and seasonings; cover and simmer for 1 hour. Add spinach; heat through. Serve over pasta; top with mozzarella and bacon. Yield: 8-10 servings.
Originally published as Spinach Pasta Sauce in Taste of Home December/January 1996, p41

Full-Bodied Red Wine

Enjoy this recipe with a full-bodied red wine such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot or Syrah.

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joycerm53 User ID: 703299 9806
Reviewed Jan. 7, 2014

"I have been making this sauce since it was first published in 1996! My family loves it. I never told the kids there was spinach in it though! This freezes well too. It is a keeper!"

owencel User ID: 5229049 4918
Reviewed Jun. 10, 2013

"This is our go to recipe for spaghetti sauce, it's so good and it's a great way to sneak in spinach!"

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