I found this week's recipe here at "Garnish and Glaze". The blog host is Melanie and she lives in Nebraska. There are many, many delicious recipes on her blog, and it is well worth checking them out.
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes
Total time: 55 minutes
1 pound Sweet Italian Sausage
1 cup onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (28 ounces) whole tomatoes, peeled
1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 can (15 ounces) Basil and Oregano diced tomatoes, drained
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 box (16 ozs.) rigatoni
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
Fresh chopped parsley and basil for garnish
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and cook sausage and onions together until meat is browned.
Add the garlic and cook until fragrant (about 30 seconds)
Break tomatoes apart with your hands as you add them to the skillet.
Stir in the tomato sauce, paste, sugar, salt and pepper.
Bring to a boil, turn to low, cover and allow to simmer for 15 to 20 minutes until the meat is cooked through, and then stir in the diced tomatoes and fresh basil (if you like your sauce thick you can simmer without the lid, but the sauce thickens when it bakes also.)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a 9 x 13 inch baking dish or two 8 x 8 inch dishes.
While sauce simmers cook the pasta as directed on the package for 10 minutes or until al dente.
Drain the pasta and return to the pot.
Mix 2 cups of the sauce in with the noodles.
Pour half the pasta into the baking dish, top with half the remaining meat sauce, sprinkle with half the mozzarella and Parmesan cheese, and then repeat the layers using up the remaining ingredients (you can add more cheese to the top if desired).
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until bubbly and lightly browned on top.
Let dish cool for 10 minutes and then serve garnished with Parmesan cheese, parsley and basil.
Melissa also mentions that you can use plain diced tomatoes with the addition of 1/2 teaspoon of dried oregano and 1/2 teaspoon of dried basil to the sauce right before you simmer it, and add the plain diced tomatoes after simmering.
Also this can be made without the sausage. You will need to cook the onions in 2 tablespoons olive oil and proceed with the rest of the recipe.
Serving size is an 1/8 of the recipe. With the sausage it comes out to about 541 calories per serving. Without sausage it is 401 calories.
Another tasty treat we have discovered is if you put a teaspoon of grated Parmesan right on the broiling pan, it melts into a delicious, crispy wafer. We found this out when we broiled those Parmesan toasts as extra cheese fell onto the broiling pan. We loved nibbling on these. It would also be good broken up and put on top of say tomato soup instead of using bread. I am not sure how difficult it would be peeling it off any other way, but when I use my non-stick aluminum foil, I can remove it easily. Parchment paper might also work.
Serve with your favorite side. A nice green salad was our choice.
Easy enough to leave the sausage out of this dish and go vegetarian. I have made it both ways.
I will make two casseroles next time, one to freeze. There are enough leftovers in one dish to last us for a couple of days.