Casserole day

I haven’t made a casserole in years.  Until yesterday, that is.  I had this leftover ricotta from the cannoli, and figured some pasta, tomatoes, a pound of italian sausage and a few other things I had lying around might make a decent meal.  Being out of lasagna noodles, I decided to use a box of bowtie pasta.  While that was cooking, I started my sauce by cooking off the last of the bacon.  I used the bacon grease to sweat the diced onion and bell pepper, then drained them to eliminate the excess grease.  With the pan now empty, I browned the sausage meat that had been removed from the casings.  I added a large can of diced tomatoes, returned the onions & pepper to the pan along with the bacon.  This was already tasting pretty good, and I added a dash of cinnamon, about a teaspoon of demerara sugar (aka sugar in the raw), and some fresh ground pepper.  The sausage and the bacon provided enough salt.  Using an oblong baking pan, I started with a ladle of sauce, added a layer of pasta, then dotted the pasta landscape with ricotta, another layer of sauce, and repeated the layering until I ran out.  I topped it all off with a layer of grated jack cheese, covered with tinfoil, and baked in a 400F oven for about 45 minutes.   Not bad for working with leftovers.  And my DH liked it, which is what counts most.

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~ by k9dancer on June 20, 2013.

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