Pasta E Fagioli Casserole

I used to make this a lot, but haven’t made it for quite a while now (perhaps years). I’m cleaning out my recipe boxes and clippings (it would be embarrassing to tell you that when organized properly they probably fill five very fat three ring binders, so I won’t tell you that), and found it again.

For 8 servings
Prepare 12 ounces pasta (we like spiral noodles for this) according to directions and spoon into a 3 qrt casserole dish. Heat 1 1/2 pounds diced polish sausage (or turkey ham), add 1 can of stewed tomatoes (about 28 oz) and bring to boil. Simmer, uncovered, until meat is well browned. Stir in one drained can of kidney beans (can use other beans). Add to pasta, leaving liquid in pan. Cook 2 diced onions and 2 minced garlic cloves in liquid until the onions are tender. Add a teaspoon each oregano, thyme, basil, stir in 3 tablespoons of tomato paste, heat until boiling. Reduce heat, simmer uncovered five more minutes. Add to pasta. You can cool it, cover it, and freeze it at this point, or bake at 350 for 50 minutes.  When you bake it, sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

Omit beans, increasepasta, add spaghetti sauce.
Omit pasta, increase beans, add green peppers, basil, and chili powder for a more chili like dish.


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