Casserole, served with Sauteed Spinach
I recently made the ultimate “Costco rookie” mistake: I bought a too-huge package of something (Italian sausage) and then had to scramble for creative uses for all of it. So, I was searching around on epicurious for suitable recipes and came across this one. Here’s a direct link to my saved epicurious “recipe box”, if you’d like to see some other sausage recipes (some are old favorites and some are ones that I’m planning to try soon):
Lara’s epicurious recipe box
This casserole was good: hearty and warm; a perfect cold-weather comfort food. Both kids liked it and the Italian sausage (as opposed to lots of other baked pasta casserole that only call for ground beef) gave it a wonderful flavor. If I make this again, though, I will probably substitute mozzarella for the fontina; the fontina was just a little bit too rich and buttery for us. This would be a great casserole for a crowd, because it makes a TON; in fact, the whole casserole wouldn’t fit into the suggested 9 X 13 pan and I had to use a larger one (be forewarned). If you have a smaller family, or don’t want to eat this for two days in a row, you could prepare it in two smaller, separate dishes and freeze one (cover with plastic wrap) before baking (I do that with baked ziti all the time) for later use. WARNING: it will take a long time (36 hours to 2 days in the fridge?) to thaw, so plan ahead.
HINT: Use the remaining of your can of tomato paste to make a Quick Pizza sauce for make-your-own pizzas the next night. I use a little less water and oil than this recipe calls for, but it’s a good jumping-off point.
Here’s a gratuitous photo of Boy, who wanted his picture taken with the casserole.