I was taught that a potluck supper meant that you brought your best dish to please all. It needn’t be different in name or basic ingredients, just a different way to achieve your best. This recipe makes for four, but can be multiplied for more.

8 ounces pasta (shells preferred), cooked and drained. Save 1 cup of the cooking water.

1/2 pound sausage, cooked and crumbles. Save 2 tablespoons of the rendered fat.

1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

1 can tomatoes, petite cut, drained

1/4 cup caramelized onions

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

2 tablespoons flour

Make a light sauce with the fat, flour, salt and pepper and cup of pasta water.

Add all of the ingredients except the onions in to a lightly buttered casserole dish. Spread the mix evenly and top with the caramelized onions.

Bake in a 350 degree Fahrenheit oven for 25-30 minutes, or until good and hot (165 degrees or more). Let it rest 8 or 9 minutes before serving.

H. Peter Baxter of Owatonna has been cooking, baking and frying for various breakfasts, brunches and dinners for many years. He writes: “During the past dozen years I have prepared and served over 400 meals for churches and special events from 18 to 120 persons. Further, I devoted two years as chef for the Hidden Creek Golf Club, and eight years as baker for the defunct Custom Coffee.

“In years past I have attended numerous cooking classes including the six week American Heat Association cooking school and years of the Kayler seminars. In the late ‘90s we published our cookbook ... The North Forum Cookbook. A few years ago I was certified by the Minnesota Department of Health as a Safe Food Handling Manager.

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