I have a simple dinner recipe for you today, ladies and gentlemen.
Because dinner time sure does come around a lot, don’t you think?
Like, daily even.
And I happen to have it on good authority that making a fabulous tasting meal for your family in a short amount of time, puts a Big Shiny Grin on your face.
And why shouldn’t it! Tasty food on the table….AND time left over to help with homework, run kids to soccer practice, band-aid a skinned knee or two, fold the laundry, kiss your sweetheart, save the world and paint your toenails.
Big Shiny Grin, here we come.
Cheesy Sausage and Tomato Shells
Time: 15 min. prep + 25 min. baking
Yield: 12 servings
Recipe adapted from Miss Paula Dean
***NOTE: This recipe makes a lot. It will feed my family of seven, twice. You could easily pour it into two 9×13 pans, cover one with aluminum foil and pop it into the freezer for another meal.***
1 (16 ounce) box elbow macaroni or medium shell pasta
1 green pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 T olive oil
1 pound sausage
2 (14.5 ounce) cans Italian Stewed Tomatoes
1 t cumin
1 t basil, dried
1 t oregano, dried
salt and pepper
2-3 C cheddar cheese, grated
1. Get yourself a nice box of pasta. Elbow macaroni or medium shells work well.
2. Bring a medium sized pot of water to a boil. Salt it well, and pour in your dried pasta. Cook it according to package directions. Don’t let it get over cooked. Al Dente is the texture you are looking for. Which has nothing to do with Al your Dentist and everything to do with cooking pasta that still has a nice firmness to it, without being mushy and soggy.
Once the pasta is cooked pour the contents of the pot into a strainer resting nicely in your sink. Pour warm water over the top of the pasta and let it hang out there for a bit.
3. While you pasta cooks, chop up one green pepper, one onion and 4 cloves of garlic.
4. Heat up a large skillet over medium high heat. Add 1 T of olive oil to the pan. Add the chopped veggies and cook them until the onions are translucent.
Add the sausage and cook until browned.
5. Open up 2 cans of Italian Stewed Tomatoes and pour the contents into a medium sized bowl.
Stick some kitchen scissors into the bowl and cut the tomatoes up into large chunks.
6. Pour the chopped up tomatoes into the skillet with the sausage and veggies.
7. Add 1 teaspoon of cumin, dried basil and dried oregano.
Sprinkle a bit of salt and pepper over the top and give it all a nice stir to combine.
8. Pour the cooked pasta into the skillet
and stir it into the tomato mixture.
9. Spray a 9×13 with cooking spray and pour the pasta/tomato mixture of bliss into it. Sprinkle it with grated cheddar cheese.
10. Bake the yummy casserole at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes, or until the cheese is lightly browned and bubbly.