Gather the family around the dinner table for this warm and comforting, no-fuss pasta dish that feeds a crowd! It’s loaded with Italian sausage, spiral noodles, your favorite marinara sauce and melty cheese, making it totally irresistible! ‘Tis the season for comfort food, so let’s enjoy it to the fullest!
My mom used to make casseroles almost every night of the week, growing up. It was the most efficient way to feed our large family. I remember we’d grumble and complain most evenings about having to eat “another casserole”. However, whenever she made today’s dish, we were all smiles!
My parents always had the rule that you eat what’s on your plate before you leave the dinner table. My mom was a superb cook, but we were all super picky and turned up our noses often at what was placed before us. Poor lady, I know how she feels now.
Which meant that all too often we kids sat there until it turned dark outside, holding cold food in our mouth and hoping we’d be cut some slack, which didn’t ever happen.
We even came up with a sneaky way of disposing of the food quickly when backs were turned. We figured out that there was a perfect little support shelf under the table, up high enough that you couldn’t see it unless you got directly underneath.
Luckily mom didn’t ever think to clean under there, so we got away with it until we ran out of space. 🙂 Needless to say, she had a very disgusting surprise realization years later. The joys of motherhood!
And now, because of what I did as a child to pull the wool over my parents’ eyes, I’m pretty smart about my kids when they’re trying to get out of eating. The crocodile tears, faking sick excuse or saying “I’m not hungry tonight” does not work on me!
Sometimes they’ll even ask to go to bed early just so they don’t have to touch their plate of food, which is pretty pathetic because I’ve always thought I could serve up a pretty good meal!
But my two oldest kids’ taste buds are definitely growing up. They are much more willing to try things than they were a few years ago, and afterwards much more likely to admit that they like it. 🙂
One cuisine they never seem to gripe about is Italian. When there’s pasta on the menu, they just about do jumping jacks. So I try to accommodate their preferences at least once a week and give them a good cause to contentedly fill their tummies.
Sometimes casseroles get a bad rap, so I’m calling this a “bake” instead.
This dish is always a hit, and I love it all the more because I don’t have to listen to whining or stand guard over the kids’ plates all night, making sure they get enough sustenance to support their growing bodies. Even my baby couldn’t get enough of it!
I hope your family enjoys this Cheesy Pasta Bake as much as mine does!