This is a meal that my mom would make when I was growing up – I remember it very fondly…it might be one of my favorite meals of ALL TIME. Not only is it delicious, but it’s so easy and takes very few ingredients. I’ve never been able to post it before, because she didn’t really have a concrete recipe. So since we’re staying here for now, I
ordered asked her to make it so I could take photos and write down measurements. It’s a thing of beauty.
First, you’ll need a pound of sausage. You can use any type that you like. We used home-canned sausage because that’s our favorite…the store variety doesn’t even compare in my eyes, because this is what I was raised on. Our family orders a pig from a local farmer and then we have it processed into sausage – we pick it up and then mom fixes some into patties for the freezer and she cans the rest. I wanted to help her with the last pig, but I was still feeling rather pukey so she did it all. Home-canned sausage is so good it’ll make you slap your mama.
Note: I didn’t slap my mama while making this dish.
When you’re browning your sausage, you’ll also want to throw some onion in there to brown too. I think it was about 1 cup, finely chopped. You don’t want the chunks too big – trust me on this one.
While all this is going on, you’ll want to be cooking your noodles. We like macaroni. It just seems to work the best for this dish…and I like going with what I KNOW works. If something is good, just don’t mess with it. This is a public service announcement. Amen. Cook 2 cups of dry noodles, which will equal out to about 4 cups cooked. Make sure to cook the noodles al dente – that’s important…they will continue cooking in the oven and soak up some of your liquid…you need that soakage.
When your sausage and onions are browned, you can add the tomatoes. We used one quart of home-canned tomatoes – so that’s 32 ounces if you’re using tomatoes from the store (you could make do with two 14.5 ounce cans).
Add the macaroni to the sausage mixture and warm it until the tomatoes are hot. It should look VERY juicy…the pasta will soak up the juice while it bakes, making it into a work of art. If it’s not juicy enough, add some tomato juice. Use this picture as your judge for how it should look. (Click thumbnails to enlarge.)
Notice that I didn’t add any salt or pepper. Why? The sausage is already seasoned and the tomatoes are canned with a bit of salt. That’s enough for us – but you might want to taste it before you bake it to make sure it’s up to par with your family.
Pour it into a 9×13 glass dish (greased) and bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. If it still looks too juicy after that, you can bake it up to 45 minutes total.
See…all the juice is gone – left behind is a masterpiece…comfort food at its finest. Folks, I’m telling you…don’t miss out on making this. And when you make it, invite me to dinner.
Note – EXCELLENT leftover for lunch…if there is any leftover. I have my doubts.
Mama’s Sausage Macaroni
- 1 pound bulk sausage
- 1 cup finely chopped onion
- 1 quart tomatoes (32 ounces) 2 to 2 1/2 (14.5 ounce) cans will also work
- 2 cups dry macaroni noodles, cooked until al dente (4 cups cooked)
- Salt/Pepper if desired
- In a large skillet, brown the sausage and onions.
- Meanwhile, cook the pasta in salted water until al dente. When sausage is done, add tomatoes and drained pasta. Cook on stovetop until tomatoes are warmed.
- Pour into a 9×13 glass dish. Bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes or until juice is soaked up by pasta.