It’s Mother’s Day. I knew I wanted to make this rigatoni & sausage casserole from Clifford Wright’s amazing new book, Bake Until Bubbly, but I also knew I had to simmer the sauce for four hours before I could even assemble the casserole. My mom would be over by 11am on Sunday, so time was an issue. I got started on Saturday and let the sausage, wine, tomatoes, onion, and garlic simmer away. The result of all that simmering was a sauce so good, you almost couldn’t help but just start eating it right out of the pot. I managed to control myself, put my trusty Le Creuset pot into the fridge, and started working on the casserole again this morning. The first lesson here is that food stylists get paid a lot of money for a good reason, because my casserole, though super tasty, doesn’t look anything like the shot on the cover of this book, which just happens to be the same recipe. (I know because I was at the shoot with Ben Fink.)
I don’t think I quite explained the whole story with having so little time. Part of the problem is that I was out late last night at Studio B to see Ellen Allien dj’ing live. (Check her out using real turntables — you don’t see that much these days!) I probably didn’t get to sleep until around 3am, and I knew it would be hard getting out of bed on Sunday morning to start 5+ hours of cooking from scratch. I needed a big head start. So what’s the verdict? This 2-day casserole is absolutely worth it. My mom asked for a doggie bag to take home, and though I didn’t have a bowl for myself (since it’s very meaty), I did take a taste and it’s pretty amazing.