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ITALIAN BAKE

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Love Italian flavors and gobs of cheese? Then this is your casserole!

This Italian casserole makes a great weeknight family meal. The young kiddos will love this because it’s not overly spicy and has all the foods younger children like to eat.

If you double the recipe, this is also a wonderful meal to bring to covered dishes and pot luck suppers. In fact, I think this recipe was originally in a pot luck cookbook that I had years ago.

The original didn’t call for any cheese mixed in the filling, however, I added some shredded cheese in there. You also get a nice thick layer of cheese on the top which even tastes great when the casserole is cooled. I introduced a bit of Asiago cheese into the topping, but you can easily leave that out, especially if you’re feeding very young kids who may not appreciate the taste.

Ingredients :

3 pounds chicken breasts (cooked & cut into bite size pieces)
6 Italian sausage links
2 jars or spaghetti sauce (I use Hunt’s in the can – cheaper & just as good!)
1 pound of pasta, penne, macaroni, shells or what ever you like
1 large package of pizza cheese
1 onion
2 large bell peppers – red & green, cut into chunks

Directions :
Cut up chicken, onion, peppers and sausage.
Boil pasta and drain (don’t over cook)
Mix pasta, sausage, onion, peppers, chicken and sauce.
Put in a large deep dish. If it won’t all fit, make a little side dish to freeze for lunch later.
Top heavily with cheese.
Bake at 325 degrees for about 45 minutes or until golden and bubbly.

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