Mr. D and I traveled to Knoxville last weekend. We had the opportunity to enjoy visiting with his Father, Uncle and two Aunts. The house was packed to the gills with family, music and fun. Mr. D’s two Aunties prepared their Sicilian Grandma’s tomato sauce recipe on Friday. That night we were lucky enough to get to eat it – my oh my, the delight! Let me tell you – it might have been the most religious experience I have ever had with food. This sauce was the epitome of the words *MADE WITH LOVE!* It was prepared with three different types of sausage (from the old school Italian butcher!), homemade meatballs (ground meat from their very own cow!) and herbs lovingly (picked from their Michigan garden!) They transported all the ingredients to Knoxville and spent the entire day tending to it. Like a well oiled machine, they chopped, stirred and mixed in herbs and spices without barely saying a word of direction to one another about the preparation. Clearly, after a lifetime of watching their mother, grandmother and aunties making this sauce they could prepare it in their sleep if they had to. After a dinner like that, I wanted to return the favor the best I knew how. I wanted to be sure we had a good breakfast over the weekend where the Aunt’s need not lift a finger. On Sunday morning I prepared a Good Morning Coffee Cake for our coffeetime treat followed up by “Kristen’s Good Breakfast.”
4 cups frozen hashbrowns
4 Tablespoons chopped onion
4 Tablespoons butter
2 cups sharp cheddar
2lbs country sausage
1 package mushrooms
1 cup milk
Salt and Pepper to taste
Use a 9×11 glass pyrex pan for these quantities. This casserole should feed about 8 people. If you’re making it for a smaller group, half the quantities and use a smaller 9×9 pyrex pan. The smaller pan size/quantity will result in a thicker casserole – don’t worry, it tastes just as fabulous!
Warm butter in skillet, add hashbrowns and onion. Season with salt. Cook until lightly brown and crispy. Transfer to and spread evenly across the bottom of a 9×9 pyrex baking dish. Set aside.
Cook and brown sausage in the same skillet. Spread evenly across the top of the hashbrown mixture.
Saute mushrooms in the skillet. There should be enough oil remaining from the pork and hashbrowns. If there isn’t add a pat more butter. Season with salt and pepper. Spread evenly across the top of the sausage.
Sprinkle shredded cheddar across the top of the mushrooms, cover and refrigerate overnight.
In the morning, beat eggs and milk together. Season with salt and pepper. Pour over the top of the hashbrown/sausage/mushroom/cheese mixture.
Bake off in the oven at 350 degrees for about 1 hour. *If you half the recipe, place it in a 9×9 pyrex pan for 40-45 minutes or until the eggs have set.*
August 18, 2009: I realized after I posted this recipe that I did not explain who Kristen is. She is an old friend belonging to my mother. Kristen made it for my mom, and in turn my mom shared the recipe with me!