There are a handful of dishes that immediately put me back in my grandmother's kitchen, but this pasta dish is perhaps the biggest throwback to that era. After learning to make it, I see why the dish made such frequent appearances on the table- there are only five ingredients plus the leftovers are perfect for school lunches! Here's all you need:
- 1 lb elbow macaroni
- 1/2 package bacon (optional, but highly recommended!)
- 2 cups grated cheese (all cheddar or a mix of cheddar and mozzarella)
- 1-2 cups tomato sauce
- 1 cup of salsa
- Salt & Pepper to taste
Cook the pasta to al'dente (firm, but not hard). BE CAREFUL NOT TO OVERCOOK. Drain the pasta and spread an even layer on the bottom of a square or round pan.
Drizzle with tomato sauce.
Drizzle with salsa and even out the distribution of the sauce and salsa with the back of a spoon. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Top with cheese.
Repeat the layers (pasta, sauce, salsa, cheese, salt/pepper) at least one more time. If you're using a round dish, you may have several layers. My mom's always used a pink CorningWare dish (what a stray thing for me to remember!).
If you're not a vegetarian, you should now top the dish with bacon. I alternate the bacon so that the fatty side of one slice lays up against the meaty side of another slice. This helps even out the "dripping" of the delicious fat into the dish. Also, don't be afraid to have the slices overlap slightly since the bacon will shrink during cooking.
Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes or until the bacon is cooked. I wish I had taken a picture of the finished dish, but in my rush to get dinner on the table, I forgot. You'll have to imagine the beautifully cooked bacon on top.
Got the picture? Great!
Now try it for yourself!!