Yummy Delish Pasta Dinners

CROWD PLEASERS!! You are going to love these! I make these for large events and gatherings. They are always a hit. I change or substiute, adjust hotness, etc. depending upon the crowd:

Eggplant, Sausage, and Ziti Casserole
Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse, 2001
Show: Emeril Live
Episode: Creative Casseroles
Recipe Summary
Difficulty: Medium
Prep Time: 55 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
Yield: 8 to 10 servings
Five Star Recipe!

1 large eggplant, cut crosswise into 1/3-inch thick rounds
1/2 cup olive oil, plus more as needed
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup chopped yellow onion
1 pound Italian sausage, removed from casings
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 (28-ounce) can whole Italian tomatoes, crushed, and their juices
1 teaspoon Italian seasonings
1/2 cup pitted black olives, coarsely chopped
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 cup minced fresh basil leaves
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
2 cups whole milk
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
8 ounces ziti, cooked according to package directions and drained
1 cup grated mozzarella

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9 by 13-inch casserole dish and set aside.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1/4 cup of the oil. Add the eggplant in batches, seasoning on both sides with salt and pepper, and cook until golden, adding more oil as needed. Transfer to a plate as they cook, and set aside.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the remaining olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When hot but not smoking, add the onion and sausage, and cook, stirring, until the sausage is browned and the onion is soft, about 6 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring frequently, until it begins to brown, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, their juices, the Italian seasoning, black olives, 1 teaspoon of salt, and the crushed red pepper. Reduce the heat to medium-low and gently simmer, uncovered, until the flavors marry and the sauce slightly thickens, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat. Add the basil and adjust seasoning, to taste.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened and forms a light roux, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the milk and, whisking frequently, cook until the sauce is thickened and smooth, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and season with the nutmeg and salt and pepper, to taste.

Arrange half of the eggplant slices on the bottom of the casserole, overlapping as necessary. Top with half of the cooked pasta, then half of the sausage-tomato sauce. Place another layer of eggplant slices on top of the sauce, then layers of pasta and sausage-tomato sauce. Pour on the white sauce, then top with the grated mozzarella and Parmesan.

Bake for 1 hour, or until puffed and golden brown on top.


A wonderful dish and favorite and everybody loves it….you can add almost anything in the way of seafood, meat, etc.

Bow Ties with Palamino Sauce
Chef Ray Hollinsworth (Sterling Inn)
30 min 10 min prep

1 tablespoon butter or margarine
1 small onion, chopped
1 banana pepper, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream (or whipping cream)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups spaghetti sauce (jarred)
1 (16 ounce) package bow tie pasta (farfalle)
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, sliced

In nonstick 12-inch skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion, pepper, and garlic, and cook until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally.

Stir in flour; cook 1 minute. Stir in milk, cream, and salt; heat to boiling over medium-high heat.

Stir in spaghetti sauce and cook over medium heat 10 minutes; stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, heat large saucepot of salted water to boiling over high heat. Add pasta and cook as label directs.

Drain pasta well; return to saucepot. Add sauce, Parmesan, and basil, toss well to coat pasta.

Enjoy & Bon Appetit!


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