Saturday, February 14, 2009

A Mother's Love...

I know you all have at least ONE casserole that your Mom used to make....that you love so much.... now you make it all the time. Not too many ingredients....pretty much staple pantry or freezer items....This is my 'go-to' dinner when I don't have the energy for something new and creative...

Mom's Sausage Rigatoni Casserole
Make about 6-8 servings (depending how hefty they are!)

1 lb bulk sausage (I always get the hot italian-me likes it spicy!)
1 large onion, chopped
1 box rigatoni (you can substitute any pasta you like but I prefer rigatoni for this casserole)
1- 29oz. can of whole peeled tomatoes
1- 8 oz package of cheddar cheese (I used fat free cheese)
1 large can of Durkee Onion Rings

1. Boil pasta for only half of the time. This is to get it started with softening. Don't worry, the pasta will continue to cook in the baking and absorb the tomato juices. Drain and set aside.
2. Use a large pot that you can not only cook the sausage but then use it to bake the whole thing in the oven. Brown the sausage with the onions. (I've been using turkey sausage lately and it's great). Drain off any fat if you have any.
3. Pour your tomato juice from can into pot with sausage. Take your kitchen shears and chop up your tomatoes coarsely in the can. (This is just to break them up...from not being whole or little explosive tomato juice balloons!). Add chopped tomatoes to pot.
4. Season with salt and pepper, tasting your tomato juice. Then add your pasta. Mix.
5. Mix 3/4 of package of cheese throughout your casserole. Cover and Bake @ 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
6. Casserole should be pretty hot all the way through....add remaining cheese to top. Cover with Durkee Onion Rings. Place pot back in hot oven without cover to melt cheese and toast onion rings.

Serve with crusty garlic bread and side salad....

Now that is some lovin' from the oven!!! know how most tomato and pasta dishes seem to be better the day after...

What is the favorite casserole that your Mom made for you that you continue to make for your family?

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