locally owned, nationally known

I like to think that I’m a local wherever I go- that I’ll find a way to feel connected right away, that I’ll discover the cool places really quickly and not waste a minute or a meal.  I’ve gotten pretty good at this over the years. My goal is to feel at home no matter where life takes me.

In Michigan, however, I am a  bona fide  “local” and Al Dente Pasta is truly a local product.  Not many states can boast having their own artisanal pasta company that is, in fact, known all around the country. Some people have said that Al Dente has put Whitmore Lake on the map.  I don’t know about that, but it’s a generous thing to say.

Speaking of local,  Hiller’s Markets are having a Michigan Food Fair this weekend.    I won’t be there personally as Jean-Luc is graduating from U of M on Saturday, but my friend, Wendy Williams, will be standing in for me. She will be sampling all four of Monique’s Sauces, Whole Wheat Fettuccine and Garlic Parsley Fettuccine.  In addition, we have paired up with Aidell’s sausages so she will have on hand coupons and recipe cards.

Al Dente’s “easier than” Lasagna,

makes 6 generous portions

12 oz. al dente pasta (any flavor)

1 jar Monique’s Pasta Sauce (any flavor)

12 oz. fully cooked Aidell’s Sausage (any flavor), sliced

1/2 cup of water

8 oz. smoked mozzarella, shredded.

1/2 cup Parmesan, grated

1 tsp. salt

Very Specific Directions

( even a beginner cook can make this dish)

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Add al dente pasta and boil for just 2 minutes.  (It will be slightly undercooked)   Drain the pasta.   Open jar of Monique’s Pasta Sauce.  Put the sauce into the pot in which you cooked the pasta.  Put 1/2 cup of water into the empty sauce jar, swish around so that you can get every last drop of sauce and then pour into pot.  Add sausage, pasta and salt and mix to combine.  Oil your baking dish.  Put 1/2 of the pasta mixture in the baking dish.  Sprinkle 1/2 of the mozzarella and 1/2 of the Parmesan over the pasta.  Add the rest of the pasta and top with the remainder of the cheese.  Bake at 350 for 30 minutes, until golden.

notes:  I used smoked mozzarella, but regular mozzarella works just fine.  Recipe can be easily doubled to feed a crowd.

easier than lasagna

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