Pasta al forno is one of the great comfort dishes of Italy and usually I've got some homemade ragù bolognese in the freezer that I can use for it. However, a few days ago, being much in need of comfort but without any ragù, I decided to make a quick one with what I did have - Italian sausage and mushrooms. [A true ragù bolognese takes 3 hours to cook.] This is what I did:
Squeeze the meat out from half a length of Italian sausage and break it up with a fork. [How much is half a length? I don't know! Maybe the length of a Cumberland sausage.] Brown it in 2 tablesp olive oil. Chuck in a chopped red onion and brown this, too. Add about a litre of homemade tomato sauce [I did have some of that in the freezer!] and about 125 ml red wine. Season and add 300 gr sliced mushrooms. Let it all simmer, stirring now and then. Cook 400 gr rigatoni according to the instructions on the pack. Drain the pasta and place a layer of it in a large, oiled baking dish. Now add about 200 gr sliced mozzarella, half the ragù, then the rest of the pasta and a little more mozzarella. Finish off with the rest of the ragù and sprinkle over about a teasp of breadcrumbs and some freshly grated parmesan. Cook at 180 C for 20 mins.
Your troubles won't vanish but they will seem much smaller. Buon appetito!