The bears are hungry, I'm hungry, everybody's hungry. It's six-thirty, looks like take-out. But wait! I have a plan.
"Somebody get a big pan boiling!"
Down the bat pole and into the rescue and off to the Shop and Save.
I mentally block the radio from sending me on any calls, I'm simply too hungry to respond.
I've been down this aisle a few times, so little pre-meal recon is needed. I'm taking the point position, which is a good thing, because the rest of my company is back at the station and my partner is standing by, motor running just in case.
Food for 12 hungry firefighters:
jar of chopped garlic
two ripe tomatoes
six pounds sausage, hot and sweet,
three big cans Kitchen ready tomatoes
1 little can of tomato paste
1 jar spaghetti sauce (yeah, I know!)
3 pounds ziti
three bags mozzarella cheese
1 jar Parmesan/Romano
2 loaves Italian bread
salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion salt, oregano, parsley, basil, sugar
(approx 2 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper, 1/2 tsp. garlic powder, 1/4 tsp onion salt, 1/2 tsp oregano, parsley and basil, i Tbs sugar)
Back to the station, loot in tow. The water isn't even boiling yet. Preheat the oven to 350. Get a big frying pan, big enough to hold a gallon of sauce, and pour a glug or two of olive oil in, turn the burners on kind of high. Chop the pepper and onion into little pieces, dump them into the sizzling oil with two spoonfuls of chopped garlic.
Open the sausage packages, separate them and put them onto a baking sheet, then stick them into the oven. Stir the onion/garlic/peppers, cook for a little while till they're soft. Open the cans while their cooking, and chop up the tomatoes.
Pour the cans of tomatoes and paste on top of the garlic and stuff and stir it up. Dump the fresh chopped tomatoes in. Add the seasonings. Keep that on medium, then turn it down if it starts to boil. Keep stirring whenever you think of it.
The water should be boiling by now, so pour the ziti in, along with some salt and a glug or two of olive oil. Stir that every now and then along with what is becoming your gravy.
Phew!, all systems are go, got the sausages cooking, the gravy simmering, pasta boiling. Time to put things together.
Find a four inch deep hotel pan, set it aside, near the stove. Taste the gravy, if it sucks, add more salt. If it still sucks, add the jar of store bought sauce (yeah, I know.)
Spoon some of your gravy onto the bottom of the 4" hotel pan. Drain the ziti, and rinse it with cold water. The sausages should be nearly done, drag them out of the oven and put the aside. Get the ziti as dry as possible, then put 1/3 over the gravy that you put on the bottom of the pan.
Now the fun part, slice the sausages into bite sized pieces, and add them to the rest of the gravy. Yeah, it hurts your fingers when the hot grease gets on them, but sacrifices must be made!
Spoon 1/3 of the gravy/sausage mix over the ziti, spread a bag of mozzarella over that.
Repeat three times, finishing it with a final layer of sauce. Then, put that pan in the oven for half an hour and clean the kitchen! Slice the bread, put some butter next to it and say the magic words:
Starting time 0630 hrs
Eating time 0730 hrs!