Sometimes, when you're craving comfort food, a warm, bubbling casserole is just the ticket. Casseroles often get a bad rep, seen as the choice food of midcentury domestics donning flowery housecoats. The tuna noodle variety was often seen as the star of the casserole genre, and could be absolutely delicious, but when done with incorrect proportions or mismatched ingredients, easily caused a scar in the brains and tummies of children everywhere. The casserole deserves to be treated with much more respect, as it is an entire meal in a dish and can be easily made ahead.
A winning combination rule of thumb when concocting a casserole is to combine a veggie, starch, meat, cheese, and sometimes a sauce (Campbell's Cream of Mushroom soup is notorious) together and bake. For today's super simple make-ahead meal recipe, I am keeping with some hearty, seasonal flavors for that perfect bubbling dish.
Sweet Potato Sausage Casserole
1 lb. sweet potato, shredded (about 1 large)
1 lb. ground pork sausage meat
1 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 Tbs. chopped sage (fresh or dried)
1 Tbs. chopped rosemary (fresh or dried)
Salt and pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Farenheit.
2. Divide the shredded mozzarella in half. Mix 1/2 tsp. of each of the herbs into the cheese. Set aside to use for casserole topping.
3. In a mixing bowl, combine shredded sweet potato, sausage, ricotta cheese, egg, garlic, and the remaining shredded cheese and herbs. Season to your preference with salt and pepper. Mix the ingredients thoroughly so all are incorporated.
4. Pour the mixture into a casserole dish. Top with the reserved cheese and herb mix.
5. Bake at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes, or until cooked through and top is golden brown and bubbly.
Your Personal Chef is Jessica Roy, specialty chef and caterer, food writer and chef-instructor.