Each volleyball season the varsity team parents get a chance to host all those boys for a meal before one of their games.
I signed up for one of the last games to make sure we were at least semi unpacked before feeding the masses. We barely made it, and boy it was so fun to have those cute boys over.
Have I mentioned how much I love that volleyball team? I'm missing those games and hearing one or another of them say "hey Mom!" from afar when they spot me. (I think they do that to all the team moms, but I like to think that I'm sort of the special one. Ha!)
In trying to figure out how in the world to feed that many big boys I asked my great chef sister-in-law who suggested her delicious "red and white pasta." Oh my word it is so darn good.
It also has absolutely zero fat so that's good. (Ha! again)
But sometimes you just need a good hearty meal and we all loved it so much (which means a lot coming from a family who rarely eats pasta) that I have to share the recipe. I tripled this for these boys but I will share the single recipe. It is a really big recipe even single, fills a 9x13 pan to overflowing, so adjust accordingly to your own needs.
Here you go:
Cook one 16oz. box of ziti noodles (or penne if you can't find ziti at the store like me). Put cooked noodles in a 9x13 baking dish (or if you are baking for your big family as well as 17 growing boys use a humongous turkey roasting pan :)
For the RED SAUCE:
1 lb. mild breakfast sausage (I used a tube of Jimmy Dean...new thing for me).
1 onion finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 large (4 lb. 3 oz.) bottle of Prego traditionally spaghetti sauce (whoever the blessed woman was who wrote this recipe noted that she uses about 3/4 of the bottle...about 50 oz.)
Cook sausage, drain, mix in Prego sauce:
For the WHITE SAUCE:
4 Tbs. butter
1 c. whipping cream
1 8-oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 clove garlic, minced
1/3 c. parmesan cheese
Melt the butter, then add the whipping cream, cream cheese, garlic and parmesan cheese (did I mention this is low fat? :) Whisk together for 1-2 minutes or until it thickens a little bit:
Pour the white sauce over the noodles.
Kind of push it around a little so it can find it's way to cover a lot of them:
Pour the red sauce mixture over the top of that:
Then top with 2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese:
Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes.
The pan will be super full so it would be wise to put a cookie sheet or tinfoil or something on a lower rack to catch anything that might spill.
The awesome thing is that you can whip this up the night before you need it. That's what I did. If you do that, you just have to cook for closer to an hour rather than 20-30 min.
Eat that stuff up with a big piece of fresh garlic bread and salad.
Preferably along with a whole bunch of cute high schoolers who are very grateful and polite.