When I was 17 years old, I spent the summer in the UK, splitting my time between my mother’s youngest sister and her twin sister. It was a crazy summer that year, but my fondest memory is of a dish my mama’s twin sister made for dinner one night, just for us two. My aunt and I have an unusual bond (most people think I’m more like her than I am like my mother) and I deeply appreciate the additional “motherly” figure I’ve had in my life.
Tonight, for WeHangsDay, I did a twist on the dish I remembered with such fondness from my “yute” (if you don’t get the reference, netflix “My Cousin Vinny” with Joe Pesci and Marisa Tomei ~ you won’t regret it).
So for tonight …
Tomato & Sausage Casserole
What you need:
1 bag egg noodles
3-4 tbsp Olive Oil
Freshly ground Salt & Pepper
1 can Stewed Tomatoes
1 can Diced Stewed Tomatoes
1 small zucchini (cubed)
1 small yellow squash (cubed)
Savory Sausage (your choice ~ anything will work!) (quartered)
2 balls of Fresh Mozzarella (cubed)
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/8 cup parmesan cheese
1 tsp hickory smoked salt
What to do:
Preheat oven to 350.
1. Make pasta according to the package directions. Combine last three ingredients in bowl (breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, hickory smoke salt). Set breadcrumb mixture aside.
2. While water is boiling/pasta is cooking, in a large saucepan, heat up olive oil (use medium heat throughout). Add both cans of tomatoes (juice & all!). Season witih salt & pepper.
3. Cut up fresh basil and fold into tomato mixture. (I used dried, because it’s what I had at the time ~ but fresh basil adds a sweetness that just can’t be duplicated).
4. Add cubed zucchini and yellow squash.
5. Add quartered sausage.
6. Lower heat, add cubed mozzarella.
7. Combine cooked pasta with mixture, fill casserole dish.
8. Sprinkle bread crumb topping over casserole. Cook in oven for 30 minutes, or until the juices start to bubble. Remove from oven, allow to rest for 10 minutes.
My aunt’s version is much more simple (mozzarella, basil & tomato with pasta; John and I like to mix it up and try different combinations. This one was a doozy (in a very good way!).
Voila. Bon appetite!