Thursday, May 15, 2008

Casserole Patrol

I have the best mom's group in the whole entire world. You can tell me all you want about all the wonderful things about your mom's group, but I promise you, they just won't compare to MY mom's group. (Side note: Funny how we call it "mom's group" when it's supposed to be about the kids.) One of the really really great things about my mom's group is that when you have a baby, people will bring you over meals. Lots of meals. Lots of delicious meals, that will sustain you and your family for several days kind of meals. They deliver it to your home for free and they don't even care if you haven't showered for days and are still wearing your pajamas. They're just that kind of people. You know, the kind of people you fall in love with who calm you when your horomones are all over the place and offer advice for free when your kids are doing whatever weird things your kid happens to be doing and make you smile when you've had a really crappy day and take care of your kids when you're puking your brains out and your husband has a test kind of people. Did I mention that I love them? Well, I do. And one of these wonderful ladies just had a baby 3 weeks ago and today was my day to deliver a meal to her and her family. What did I make? Only the best casserole I know how to make:Baked Pasta with Tomatoes, Sausage and Cheese
adapted from Cooking Light

1 pound package uncooked ziti
1 pound hot Italian sausage
1 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
¼ tsp. Salt
¼ tsp. Pepper
2 (14.5 oz.) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
2 Tbsp. Tomato paste
1 Tbsp. dried basil
1 cup mozzarella cheese
1 cup Parmesan cheese

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2) Cook pasta according to package directions.

3) Remove casings from sausage. Cook sausage, onion and garlic until browned over medium heat. Add tomato paste, salt and pepper, dried basil and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.

4) Combine pasta and tomato mixture. Place half of the mixture in a 4 qt. Casserole coated with cooking spray. Top with half of each cheese. Repeat layers. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until bubbly. (If giving this for casserole patrol, don't bake it. Instead, cover and put it in your fridge until delivery. Have them bake it at 350 degrees for 20 covered and 15 minutes uncovered.)
P.S. The really great thing about this casserole is that it makes A LOT so I normally halve the recipe for my family. When I'm making it for casserole patrol, I make the full recipe and put it in two casserole dishes so I have one for giving and another for keeping. So, really, it's no extra work. I deliver the casserole with a bag of lettuce, a loaf of bread and a pint of Ben & Jerry's Karamel Sutra. Don't you want to have a baby just so I can bring you over dinner?


Mom2BeautifulGirl said...

Love the new look.

I will attest that this is the BEST casserole Sharleen makes. This coming from one of the moms in our "mom's group".

Love the blog and I read it daily.

MomMom said...

Anyday, and twice on Sunday!

Never got to have the casserole. But now I am hungry :)


Lola said...

Ummmmmmm...NO on having another baby...I've had MY share!

I'm definately going to try the recipe though (Without the sausage...maybe turkey burger???)

Sharleen said...

Lola, I think the original recipe called for turkey sausage, but I'm so in love with the regular stuff that it's hard for me to switch!!

The Stitching Surgeon said...

mmm...that looks delicious...and having a baby...hey if thats what it takes...hehe

by the way, the top on my blog is a medium (i can send you exact measurements if you would like) and yes i was planning on putting it in the shop...i would rather someone enjoy it...if you are interested, email me and i can send you all the details and set it up as a reserved item on etsy if necessary :)

Susan in SC said...

THis sounds delicious! Thanks for sharing! Susan

Tonya said...

Mmmmm, this looks yummy! I think I may have to try it for dinner next week. I love casseroles, of course I have to make 3 big ones to feed my family LOL

I also have some great friends that do the dinner thing when a baby is born. We also do it when things are rough, like surgeries, illnesses, etc. There is nothing like having great girlfriends!

Mountain Mom Alison said...

Definitely going to try this! Thanks.

billie said...

Mmmmm, this sounds so good!