1poundMild Italian Sausagecasings removed and torn into small pieces or use bulk sausage
28ounceDiced Fire Roasted Tomatoes
24ounceJar Marinara or other Meatless Pasta Sauceuse your favorite brand and variety
12ouncesSpaghetticooked to package directions for al dente and drained
Salt for the Pasta Waterwe used kosher salt
2½cupsShredded Mozzarella Cheese
Chopped Parsley for garnishif desired
Make the sausage pasta sauce
Heat the olive oil in a large, deep skillet or pot over medium heat. Add the onions and cook for 3 minutes or so, until they start to soften and become translucent. Stir frequently.
Add the garlic and oregano, cook 1 minute, stirring frequently.
Add the sausage to the skillet and raise the heat to medium-high. Stir the sausage while breaking up any large pieces using a wooden spoon or a spatula. Cook for approximately 5 minutes or until browned.
Add the diced tomatoes and the pasta sauce and stir well. Bring the sauce to a simmer, lower heat to medium-low and cover.
Cook the sauce for 25 minutes keeping it at a simmer. If it starts boiling too vigorously, lower the heat a little bit. Stir occasionally.
Make the spaghetti casserole
Preheat the oven to 350°F
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook the spaghetti according to package directions for al dente. Remember to salt the water. When the spaghetti is done drain it well.
Use a large, deep and oven-proof casserole dish or baking pan at least 11x7 inches. Add a layer of meat sauce to the bottom of the casserole dish, enough to cover.
Add a layer of spaghetti, sprinkle about ½ cup of shredded cheese. Repeat layering: sauce, spaghetti, cheese, until all of the ingredients are used up. End with the tomato sauce on top.
Reserve at least ½ cup of cheese to melt on top at the end.
Bake the spaghetti for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and top with the remaining cheese. Place it back in the oven and bake for 3-5 minutes or until the cheese melts.
Let the casserole rest for a few minutes before serving. Garnish with chopped parsley, if desired.
If the sausage renders a lot of excess grease drain some, if desired. An easy way to do this is to take the skillet off the heat. Mound the sausage on one side of the skillet and gently tip it so that the excess oil pools on the other side of the sausage. Use a ladle or a large spoon to scoop out some of the excess oil.Place the casserole dish on a baking sheet, if it bubbles over it won’t make a mess of your oven.