Here’s a new recipe of mine, invented just this evening. It’s an Italian-Mexican casserole.
1 Baking dish approx. 8″ x 11″ or bigger (I just found a good one cheap at Ikea)
1 Spatula or wooden spoon
1 Cheese grater
1 Can opener
about 2 cups of uncooked pasta
2 small red onions or one large one
a little vegetable oil or olive oil or butter or some Pam cooking spray
1 15 oz can of tomato sauce (this is the most average can-sized can)
1 16 oz bag of frozen corn niblets
1-2 cups pepper jack cheese (those who don’t like it extra spicy probably should split it, half regular jack, half pepper jack)
(optional) half teaspoon cumin
(optional) half teaspoon cilantro
(optional) dried toasted onion bits
Pull the corn out of the freezer and set it on the counter to start defrosting.
Cut off the ends of the onion(s).
Slit the side and peel the dry skin off. (If you make vegetable stock, these bits go in your Stock Parts container in the freezer).
Cut the onion into roughly inch sized chunks. (I cut my small onions in half vertically, then cut the halves horizontally in half, then cut those into 3 even chunks).
Put a couple teaspoons of oil (or whatever) into a frying pan.
Put the heat on medium.
Put the onion in there and let it cook gently (turn the heat down if you need to), stirring it from time to time with the wooden spoon, until the onions get softer and translucent.
If you have some, when the onion is mostly done, sprinkle cumin and dried cilantro on the onions. Stir.
While the onion is cooking:
Turn the oven on to 350 degrees to preheat.
Put about 3 times as much water as you have pasta in a pot.
Add a pinch of salt.
Bring the water to a boil and then add the pasta.
Stir the pasta with the spatula or a wooden spoon.
Cook the pasta for as long as you’re supposed to cook that kind of pasta (probably about 8 minutes). Don’t overcook it.
While the pasta is cooking (if the onion is done, turn off the heat and transfer the onion to a bowl if it continues to cook in the pan):
Spray Pam or wipe some olive oil in the baking dish.
Open the can of tomato sauce.
Grate the cheese.
When the pasta is done & thoroughly drained, pour it into the pan.
Form a flat layer in the bottom with it.
Evenly spread the cooked onion over the pasta.
Evenly spread the corn over the onion.
Evenly spread the tomato sauce over the corn.
Evenly sprinkle the grated cheese over the sauce.
If you have it, sprinkle some dried toasted onion bits on top of the cheese.
Put the pan in the 350 degree oven and leave it there without peeking for 30 minutes.
When it is done, remove it from the oven using oven mitts to hold the hot pan.
Serve immediately to joyful recipients.
Because the pasta can be a little slippery, a big serving spoon or ladle is recommended for dishing it up.
This can also make a good “bringing lunch to work” dish.