“Now’s the time is always true.” ~ Unknown
NOTE: I spend my Wednesdays Unplugged from appointments. It’s my day to stay home, enjoy cooking and welcome our kids and grandkids for dinner in the evening. We end our meal with quotes from the Norwegian ‘Quote Cup’ passed on to me from my grandmother. I share a quote and a recipe here each week, along with an update and photos of what has been going on in our lives. I love trying new recipes…and love getting recipes you would like to share!
Our daughter and her ‘kids’ headed to North Dakota over teacher’s convention. They had a great time visiting multiple cousins… and my very special uncle and aunt, still on the farm. They made a stop at the church where John and I were married and where my parents are buried… what better place for our 13-year-old grandson to first experience driving than at the church/graveyard!
RECIPE OF THE WEEK
I have been looking for a recipe much like the one I found at The Little Epicurean and served this week for a long time. I may still tweak it a bit, but it was good enough that our son’s family asked for leftovers! A secret to the cheesiness is having cubes of mozzarella in the main body and saving the shredded cheddar for the topping. It’s kind of like lasagna with penne instead of lasagna noodles. I doubled the recipe.
CHEESY BAKED PENNE with sausage
- 8 ounces penne pasta
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 cup shallots or onions, minced
- 12 ounces mild Italian sausage
- 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 1/2 tablespoons white sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- 3/4 cup 2% cottage cheese
- 6 ounce block mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- Chopped Italian parsley to garnish, if desired
Cook pasta al dente according to pack instructions. Drain and let cool.
Heat about 2 teaspoons olive oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add garlic and shallots and cook until shallots have started to soften. Stir often to prevent garlic from burning. Add sausage and cook until browned. Drain off excess fat/oil.
Add can crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 10-15 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste, let cool for about 15 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, add cooled pasta, cooled meat sauce, cottage cheese and mozzarella cubes. Toss to combine and turn into a greased casserole dish. Sprinkle shredded mozzarella cheese on top.
Bake for 20 minutes until cheese on top is melted. Set oven to broiler and and allow cheese to brown for 30-45 seconds. Remove from oven and let dish stand for 5-8 minutes before serving.