Italian pasta casserole

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Perfect marriage of pasta, sausage, and a mild cheese sauce! Yum-o! From a 1984 McCalls Cooking School recipe.

Difficulty: Medium - experience needed
Serves: 8

Preparation time:
Cooking time:

Ingredients

Ingredients:

* 2 1/2 cups uncooked ziti pasta
* 2tablespoons oil
* 1 lb italian sausage (I just use packaged pre-cooked italian sausage to save time)

WHITE SAUCE

* 1/4 cup butter
* 1/4 cup flour
* seasoning salt or white salt
* black pepper
* 2 cups milk
* 1/4 cup parmesan cheese


CHEESE LAYER

* 1 (1 lb) carton cream-style cottage cheese
* 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
* 1 large egg
* 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
* salt and pepper

* 1/4 lb mozzarella cheese, grated
* paprika

Method

1. Set oven to 350 degrees.
2. Grease a 3-quart baking dish.
3. Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling water until JUST tender (do not over-cook the pasta as it will cook more in the oven!).
5. Heat oil; add in the sausage meat and cook until browned, remove to a plate.
6. For the white sauce; melt butter in a medium saucepan
7. Add in flour and whisk for 1 minute.
8. Slowly add in milk ; bring to a simmer, whisking constantly until thickened.
9. Remove from heat; add in 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, then season with seasoned salt (or white salt) and pepper to taste.
10. Pour the cheese sauce over the drained pasta still in pot; mix with a wooden spoon.
11. Rinse out the sauce pan and use it to mix together the cottage cheese with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, egg and chopped parsley, then season with salt and lots of pepper.
12. Spoon HALF of the creamed ziti mixture into the prepared baking dish, then spread the cottage cheese mixture on top, then spoon the remaining pasta mixture on top of the cottage cheese mixture.
13. Sprinkle the cooked sausage meat on the top and poke some into the casserole.
14. Sprinkle paprika on top.
15. Bake uncovered for about 30-35 minutes or until bubbly and hot.
16. Top with mozzerlla and let stand about 5 or more minutes before serving.

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