Saturday, November 9, 2013

Italian Sausage Casserole

Another recipe for stretching a little meat to a hearty meal. Serve with a tossed green salad or a simple steamed green vegetable, like green beans or broccoli.

Italian Sausage Casserole
(serve 4-6)

2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
¾ pound Italian sausage (chicken or pork, mild or hot)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
½ teaspoon dried oregano
2 Tablespoons flour
1 cup 2% or whole milk
½ teaspoon + a little more black pepper
½ teaspoon + a little more salt
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
2 large russet potatoes (about 1 ½ lbs), peeled and thinly sliced
non-stick cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350°F. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 Tablespoon oil, then add the sausage. Break up the sausage into small chunks. Cook until starting to brown. Remove to a small bowl, leaving any fat in the skillet. You want about 1 Tablespoon of fat left. If too little, add some more oil. If too much, pour off the extra and discard (chicken will have very little, pork a bit more). Add onion and sauté for a few minutes until translucent. Reduce heat to medium-low and add garlic. Cook for 1 minute, stirring. Add oregano and flour. Continue to stir for another minute. Add milk, ½ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon black pepper. Scrape up any bits sticking to the pan and continue stirring until sauce thickens slightly, about 5 minutes. Add tomato sauce and mix to combine. Add sausage and garbanzos, and carefully mix into sauce. Layer on potato slices, sprinkle with a little salt and pepper, and spray with cooking spray. Cover (use foil in you don't have a cover) and bake for 1 hour. Remove the cover and bake another 10 minutes to lightly brown potatoes. Or if your skillet can take the heat, turn the oven to broil and broil to brown the potatoes.

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