Cooking with the Non-Cook: Italian Sausage Bake
The Non-Cook knows how to use that oven. Maybe he needs supervision, but that isn't what's important. What is important is the reader of this column's taste buds. So, that means we are about to hit you with a flavor explosion. Italian sausage sandwiches are up there with my absolute favorite foods of all time. Here is how you make a lunch into a dinner easily. Try to keep up with the Non-Cook, since he doesn't go very fast anyway.
Italian Sausage (Links or Ground)
1 package of pasta (rigatoni, linguine, preference...)
Green Pepper (1)
Marinara Sauce (Homemade or Jarred)
Garlic Powder (Pinch)
First, you are going to need to take care of the meat. Jokes aside, this will all depend on if you have fully cooked or freshly ground sausage. If it is fully cooked, you will want to get it browned and keep it warm while your sauce is cooking. You will need to make sure it reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees. If you're using ground sausage, it will be much easier to gauge your temperature. If it is links, you will need a meat thermometer to make sure it is done all the way through.
Next, you will want to boil water for your pasta. While it is cooking, you can get a separate pot ready for your sauce. Obviously, if you can make a fresh sauce that is always ideal. If not, using Newman's own or a hearty tomato basil sauce will add a lot of flavor to your dish. Because this is the Non-Cook, finding a nice jarred sauce that you can modify is the best bet. Adding some black pepper, garlic powder, and basil can give a much-needed kick to your sauce.
While everything is going, you can dice up your green pepper and onion. One of each should do the trick, but feel free to add as much as desired. The world is your onion, or however, it is that saying goes.
When your sausage is done, you will want to throw in the veggies. Let them get nice and cooked with your sausage as your pasta and sauce finishes up.
Next, you will want to drain your pasta and use it for the bottom layer of your dish. Then, you add your sausage and vegetable mixture on top of the noodles.
Finally, add your sauce on top of everything and enjoy.