Pea- Sized Hail and a Good Comfort Food Dish!

If you have a chilly day, you must eat comfort food. It really and truly is a must. Agreed?

Hopefully my new nutritionist isn’t reading this post. He might be a bit disappointed seeing as how we just met to discuss my nutritional plan last week. Since he hasn’t officially given me his designed plan yet, I gave myself the go-ahead to make this comforting dinner over the weekend: Baked Penne with Italian Sausage.

This recipe comes from Cook’s Illustrated’s cookbook The Best Make Ahead Recipe. I really have come to trust recipes that are generated by Cook’s Illustrated. They know their stuff, and since they test the heck out of their recipes- they never disappoint.

This dish incorporates both sweet and hot Italian sausage, and all other basic lasagna ingredients- ricotta, Parmesan, mozzarella, marinara, & basil. I lightened it up a bit by using low fat ricotta. I also halved the recipe for my little family (and still had a ton.) Make ahead instructions are included… and you may wish to eat half and freeze half for later. It’s a perfect recipe to take to a new mom or someone else in need. In this case, we were in need… of good comfort food.

And it WAS good! Comforting too. And it made great leftovers.

This recipe can be found here:  Baked Penne with Italian Sausage

You may have read my post last weekend, where I was bragging about our terrifically sunny weather here in San Diego. Well, this past weekend, winter returned (temperature in the 50’s) and we got some pea-sized hail. Hail is super unusual for San Diego, and the pea-sized hail was quite a surprise! We were hanging out watching TV (big time fun for old people on a Saturday night) and started to hear clinking noises outside.

Here’s the accumulation on our patio furniture of the closest thing we’ll ever get to snow. Very exciting for us since we don’t get much variety in terms of weather!

Not to worry… we were back to sunny weather today, and I was able to go for a morning jog in shorts and a tank top. Ok, maybe if my nutritionist read that part about the jogging then I’ll be forgiven for eating that good comfort food!

Leave a Comment

17 Responses to “Pea- Sized Hail and a Good Comfort Food Dish!”

  1. 1

    ali — March 18, 2008 @ 4:42 AM

    recipe girl, such excitement! hail? i’m glad you had some comfort food over this frigid, East Coastesque winter weekend we just braved.

    the pasta looks amazing.


  2. 2

    StickyGooeyCreamyChewy — March 18, 2008 @ 6:02 AM

    Baked pasta screams comfort food! This sounds great. I make a similar dish with meatball chunks, but I really like the addition of sausage.

  3. 3

    KJ — March 18, 2008 @ 9:08 AM

    Winter is on it’s way here in Australia. So this recipe looks perfect for the coming months.

  4. 4

    Gretchen Noelle — March 18, 2008 @ 1:05 PM

    What a tasty looking dish! And the hail…wow!

  5. 5

    Jenny — March 18, 2008 @ 1:59 PM

    Looks like we were both thinking pasta. I love the sound of your dish! Great yummy pics!

  6. 6

    Peter M — March 18, 2008 @ 2:26 PM

    Oohey-Gooey penne is oh so good and as for the hail…we get that too!

  7. 7

    Catherine Wilkinson — March 18, 2008 @ 2:47 PM

    Very nice! I too, trust Cook’s Illustrated…it’s nice to have a source that’s foolproof! Cause things can go terribly wrong when I am left to my own imagination!
    Perfect recipe for these iffy spring days! We have snow Sunday night after a Saturday of beautiful weather

  8. 8

    Elle — March 18, 2008 @ 3:48 PM

    God, that looks delicious! I’m glad your nice weather is back.

  9. 9

    Tommy — March 18, 2008 @ 4:40 PM

    That looks really good… makes me want to bake up some pasta this week =]

    More importantly, I can’t believe you just called 50 degree weather winter, I can’t remember the last time I thought that was cold. Guess thats what happens on the Cali.

  10. 10

    Cakespy — March 18, 2008 @ 7:50 PM

    Now this is an ULTIMATE comfort food! And we had strange hail here in Seattle a week ago too! how odd!

  11. 11

    Kevin — March 18, 2008 @ 11:14 PM

    Cheesy and tomato baked pasta…mmm… That looks so good with the golden brown melted cheese on top!

  12. 12

    Leah — March 19, 2008 @ 12:53 AM

    I totally agree with you; I’m a big fan of CI, I have that “make ahead” cookbook and I’ve made this exact recipe before. It is purely heaven, but you’re right, it makes a TON! I always freeze half! Great pictures, too! Leah

  13. 13

    Jessy and her dog Winnie — March 19, 2008 @ 1:02 AM

    That looks so cheesy and great!

  14. 14

    Meeta — March 19, 2008 @ 5:00 PM

    As I read this it really is hailing outside!! So, are you coming over with some of that comfort food for me. Looks scrumptious!

  15. 15

    Tarah — March 20, 2008 @ 11:05 PM

    Yuuum! I love baked pasta! This looks so good too!

  16. 16

    Proud Italian Cook — March 21, 2008 @ 2:47 PM

    Beautiful comfort food! Looks sooo delicious too!

  17. 17

    Kim — April 5, 2008 @ 8:32 PM

    Where did you get that wavy, green baking dish?