You know those nights when you have leftovers in your fridge but you REALLY want something different? Or you had a meal that the kids didn’t like so you don’t want to heat it up just for them to push it around on their plate and ask for an apple after they’ve taken 2 bites?
I don’t like to waste food (hence the “pig” bucket under our sink for all of our food scraps to end up in) so I try to make dishes out of what I have on-hand in the refrigerator.
Last night we had a pizza with italian brat sliced up on half and smoked ham on the other. Did I mention that we have raised pasture pigs for the past 3 years so we have a freezer FULL of pork? It is quite convenient!
Anyways, the kids are not a fan of the italian brats. To be honest, they’re too spicy for myself if I eat them by themselves. It was pretty good on a pizza though! So tonight I wanted to use the other 3 italian brats. I thought I was just going to cut them up and add them to spaghetti sauce and serve it over noodles but then my mind got away on me. Why not make a casserole dish so maybe the kids would actually eat it?! I’m not sure why, but if I serve a casserole….it disappears. If I serve food items individually, the kids hardly touch it. Unless it’s side pork. Oh my goodness, they LOVE side pork.
What I ended up with was kind of a spaghetti lasagna dish and I thought it was pretty tasty!!
First I put water in a pot for the noodles since that always takes the longest to get the water boiling. Then I removed the casing from the brats and sliced it into thin pieces. In a 8×11 casserole dish, I poured in a layer of spaghetti sauce and then waited FOREVER for the water to boil and cooked spaghetti noodles for 7 minutes. I then put a small layer of noodles, a layer of the sliced brats, multiple spoonfuls of ricotta cheese, cheddar cheese (can anyone ever have enough cheese???), more noodles, more pasta, more brats, MORE cheddar cheese and topped it off with some black olives to entice the kiddos.
Since the meat was already cooked, I just put it in the toaster oven at 350 degrees for 25 minutes to heat everything up again and melt the cheese.
Yum yum yum!! My middle son did complain about the meat being a bit spicy but he just picked that out and ate the rest. My husband and I both had 2 helpings so I think it went over well!!