Friday, January 29, 2010

A Friday List - Movie Trailers

As many of you know, Friday nights at the Brave Astronaut Launch Pad is Movie Night for LBA. Tonight however, I am at Ford's Theatre, watching the new production of "The Rivalry," depicting the relationship between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas, which grew as a result of their famous Lincoln-Douglas debates. The play opened on January 22 and is on a short run, closing February 13. I am not sure what's on the agenda for screening at the Launch Pad.

One of the best parts of going to the movies for me are the trailers that precede the feature presentation. It's an opportunity for me to see what films are coming out that I might get to see one day. (I should take this opportunity to give the shout-out to my MIL, who came into town last weekend - took LBA to see "The Princess and the Frog," brought dinner for all of us, and then babysat so Mrs. BA and I could get out to the movies. We saw "Up in the Air" and it was really good.

Some time ago (this has been sitting in my Google Reader star list for several months), IFC came out with a list of the Top 50 Trailers. Something I learned from the article? Trailers are called such because they use to follow the feature presentation. Who knew?

Here's the list. Discuss. I do tend toward the older films as so many of the modern films try to have a huge "impact" on the moviegoer (perhaps due in part to our limited attention spans). I also dislike those trailers that reveal the big jokes from the movie - so that when you finally see the movie, it is very anti-climactic. I'm sure there is something to be said here that the majority of the trailers that make this "Tops" list, are mysteries or thrillers.

25. Real Life (1979)

24. Schindler's List (1993)

23. Red Eye (2005)

22. Sin City (2005)

21. Strange Days (1995)

20. She's Gotta Have It (1986)

19. Unbreakable (2000)

18. Sleeper (1973)

17. Charade (1963)

16. GoldenEye (1995)

15. Pulp Fiction (1994)

14. Garden State (2005)

13. Mr. Sardonicus (1961)

12. Independence Day (1996)

11. The Blair Witch Project (1999)

10. The Shining (1980)

9. Mission: Impossible (1996)

8. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)

7. Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)

6. Citizen Kane (1941)

5. Comedian (2002)

4. Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

3. Cloverfield (2008)

2. Psycho (1960)

1. Alien (1979)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Mashed Potatoes to Die For (They might kill you)

I love mashed potatoes, but even these might be a little much for me. These came up in a discussion over potatoes at Thanksgiving.

Mamaw's Mashed Potatoes (a.k.a. Code Blue Potatoes)
Serves 8-10

Chronicle Food & Wine intern Rachael Daylong made these for a staff lunch one day, and they were such a hit that we wanted them every week - despite what we knew had to be a huge amount of fat. Daylong says these potatoes, which can be partly made ahead, are a staple at every family gathering. The recipe comes from her grandmother, Ann Kurtz.
  • 5 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 8 ounces sour cream, softened
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon garlic salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Paprika, for garnish (optional)
Instructions: Place potato chunks in heavily salted water and bring to a boil. Simmer until tender, about 10 minutes; drain.

Transfer potatoes to the bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl. Add cream cheese, sour cream, butter, heavy cream, garlic salt, and pepper. Whip on medium speed with the whip attachment on a stand mixer or with a handheld beater for 3 minutes, or until smooth and no large lumps remain. Taste and adjust seasoning with pepper. At this point the potatoes may be refrigerated up to 3 days; bring to room temperature before continuing with recipe.

Preheat oven to 350°. Transfer the potato mixture to a 2 1/2- to 3-quart baking dish or a 9- by 13-inch pan. Sprinkle with paprika. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes, or until the top is crisp and just beginning to brown and the potatoes are hot all the way through.

Per serving: 343 calories, 3 g protein, 5 g carbohydrate, 36 g fat (22 g saturated), 101 mg cholesterol, 630 mg sodium, 0 g fiber.

From the San Francisco Chronicle

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

One Year Later - A Loud Message

One year ago, I trudged out into the cold frosty morning here in Washington, DC to be a part of history, at the inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States. While I was unable to get to my appointed station, I got home and watched the bulk of it on television (where it was warmer and there were donuts).

Yesterday evening, in a loud scream from the American electorate, specifically those in the Bay State, a message was sent to President Obama, "we're in trouble, and now, so are you." There is a lot of finger pointing going around today as to what happened, but congratulations to Scott Brown, the Senator-elect from Massachusetts. Although don't be surprised if some of the men listed below drop by and visit with you to make sure it all goes well. There have been some titanic figures in the Class I Senate seat from Massachusetts, and they may just want to make sure you are up to the task. Let's hope so.

On this day in 1961, people gathered for another historic inauguration, the first Catholic President of the United States, John F. Kennedy, who had also held the historic Senate seat that was delivered to Scott Brown last night, when he defeated Attorney General Martha Coakley. He was young, telegenic, and he delivered a stirring, moving address. (If you are interested, you can follow @JFK_1960, as the JFK Library commemorates the fiftieth anniversary of Kennedy's pursuit of the Democratic nomination for president. Here are some excerpts of JFK's inaugural address, which have some messages on how the President and the Congress might be able to proceed from this point.
"We observe today not a victory of party but a celebration of freedom - symbolizing an end as well as a beginning - signifying renewal as well as change."

"The world is very different now . . . And yet the same revolutionary beliefs for which our forebears fought are still at issue around the globe - the belief that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state but from the hand of God."

"Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans - born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage - and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this nation has always been committed, and to which we are committed today at home and around the world."

"This much we pledge - and more."

"To those old allies whose cultural and spiritual origins we share, we pledge the loyalty of faithful friends. United there is little we cannot do in a host of cooperative ventures. Divided there is little we can do - for we dare not meet a powerful challenge at odds and split asunder."

"So let us begin anew - remembering on both sides that civility is not a sign of weakness, and sincerity is always subject to proof. Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate."

"Let both sides explore what problems unite us instead of belaboring those problems which divide us."

"All this will not be finished in the first one hundred days. Nor will it be finished in the first one thousand days, nor in the life of this Administration, nor even perhaps in our lifetime on this planet. But let us begin."

"And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you--ask what you can do for your country."
United States Senators from Massachusetts (Class I):

Monday, January 18, 2010

Wild Mushroom Risotto

Today is the first Federal holiday of 2010, set aside to remember Martin Luther King, Jr.

Perhaps this recipe might show up on the table for the first Federal Holiday Playdate of 2010? Who knows. This recipe looks easy enough. From We Love DC.

Wild Mushroom Risotto
Serves 3
Time, including prep: about 1 hour

  • 1 8 oz. package of mushrooms (Shiitake, Cremini or Portobello for the low budget version. Chanterelles, Black Trumpets, Porcini, and Blue Foot Chanterelles for the whole-paycheck variety), roughly chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 sprigs of fresh thyme, whole
  • 1/2 c. onion, finely diced
  • 8 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 c. arborio rice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely diced
  • 1/2 bottle of white wine, preferably pinot
  • 5 c. chicken stock, warmed (or use water)
  • 1 c. fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/2 c. parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 stick of butter, cut into tablespoon portions
  • Don’t forget, stir frequently to cook evenly . . . And do all of the prep work in advance. It’s worth it to be able to focus on continually stirring.
  • In a shallow pan, heat 4 tbsp. of olive oil over medium to medium-high heat. Add mushrooms when hot. (If adding more than one kind of mushroom, add the densest mushrooms first.) Saute them until lightly browned.
  • Add the additional 4 tbsp. olive oil to the pan with the onions.
  • Once the onions are translucent, add the arborio rice to the pan to toast. At the same time, throw in the thyme, salt, and 2 cloves of garlic.
  • Once the rice begins to become slightly golden, add white wine (or water) to cover. Cook the rice down so that the alcohol flavor is gone.
  • When the pan starts to look dry and you “hear it asking for more liquid,” add 1/2 c chicken stock or water. Continue stirring, listening to your pan, and adding more liquid.
  • When the rice is not chewy or mushy, but still a little crunchy, remove it from the heat. Make sure you still have a little liquid left and you aren’t in the “dry” stage of the process.
  • Remove the thyme sprigs. It’s okay if you can’t find them all.
  • Off the heat, add the parsley, cheese, and butter. Stir rapidly, and like crazy, to emulsify the butter into the rice. You will see your rice start to come together at this point and to look like cheesy, yummy risotto.
  • Throw in the extra clove of garlic, too.
  • You did it!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

I Aint Afraid of No Ghost.

It's another lazy Saturday here at the Brave Astronaut launchpad. Mrs. BA went off this morning to do some work at the Library of Congress, leaving me to look after LBA and SoBA. I am still attempting to shake something off (perhaps its a reaction to my H1N1 vaccine or just the fact that I haven't slept well in about three days) but I soldiered on. The weather was somewhat cooperative and the gang headed out into the backyard to play. Just about every ball in the inventory was thrown out into the backyard by SoBA (footballs, baseballs, soccer balls, all of them). We were soon joined by the neighbor children (AKA the "Hooligans"). The soccer ball saw some use as did the baseball and bat. I nearly took a line drive off my head, hit by LBA. How long till Pitchers and Catchers report?

We came inside to have some lunch and unfortunately only SoBA got to have naptime (though I could have so closed my eyes for a bit). LBA and I adjourned to the TV room to follow our normal SoBA naptime ritual - the movie. Last night's movie night featured "Dorothy" AKA The Wizard of Oz, and today, LBA requested Ghostbusters. Because "I'm five now and big boys like scary movies - so I won't be scared."

We've watched Ghostbusters before (it's also a favorite of J in PA and Special K, when they have come to visit). Evidently we are not alone in loving Ghostbusters. The film, which just turned 25, is being pushed as better than Star Wars and its ilk. I don't know if I would go that far, but that's what this article by a British journalist maintains in the Times Online (seen first on kottke, last June). In September, kottke also raised the question that perhaps 1984 was by far one of the greatest years ever for film.

Kottke includes a partial list (just look):
  • Beverly Hills Cop
  • Ghostbusters
  • Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
  • Footloose
  • Purple Rain
  • Revenge of the Nerds
  • Red Dawn
  • The Terminator
  • Sixteen Candles
  • This Is Spinal Tap

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Getting Away from it All in Books

We've started visiting the local library with LBA and SoBA. Well Mrs. BA has (I have yet to be inside yet). This is unusual for me as I used to work in the local public library and growing up was always in the summer reading program and usually on a first name basis with the children's librarian (but Mrs. Flukinger was always Mrs. Flukinger, even after I started working there. And then again, I also ran afoul of the school librarians on more than one occasion. And I used to tell people that during my undergraduate days, I was more apt to be anywhere but in the library. Of course, now I am an archivist, which for many people is hard to tell the difference between us and librarians.

LBA enjoys the library and SoBA also enjoys getting a pile of new reading material. SoBA likes to bring you books to read to him, though very often he moves on to a new title before you finish the first one. And the word "WHY?" has made it into his vocabulary as in, "I can't read that to you right now, I getting dinner together." "WHY!" This is often spoken as he pulls you into the other room to sit and read to him.

One book that I recall reading growing up was My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George. What pre-teen didn't dream of the day when you would run off into the woods to live by yourself for a while. The story was recently profiled in the Washington Post Magazine, where the author actually did it. Later the Post ran an online chat with the author of the article and Ms. George, who still lives in New York State, where the book is set.

I enjoyed working at the library growing up. It was a good time and it gave me access to books that I might not have read otherwise. I started reading non-fiction because I wanted to not because I had to from working there. The first non-fiction book I read? Fatal Vision, by Joe McGinnis - the story about Jeffrey MacDonald and the murder of his family at Fort Bragg.

I'm currently plowing through the new Stephen King book, Under the Dome, which was a birthday gift from Mrs. BA. At over 1,000 pages, I was afraid it would take me some time to get through it. However, it's really good Stephen King and I am already halfway through. I just have to be careful when reading it in bed. For if I fall asleep while reading it, I might break my nose when the book falls on my face.

Some time ago, kottke (of course), profiled a new architectural design, bookcase stairs. Created for the apartment dweller, it allows the voracious reader more storage for their books. I usually put my extras on along with a fair number of books that I am attempting to move from the family collection, but I still keep a good deal of books. For which I use Library Thing to keep track.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Chocolate Marble Cake

Never go to the grocery store hungry. It should be a law. Because, while it may be a rule, it's one that easily gets broken. Not long ago, I went to the grocery store with SoBA and we were both hungry at the checkout. That's when we spotted the Entemann's Marble Pound Cake single serving at the "impulse buy display." So I bought one. And we ate it. And it was good.

Later this week, many of my co-workers will gather to celebrate my friend and colleague (and sometime commenter here), NJM, who will start a new job a week from today. Mrs. BA has promised to make a cake, maybe not the marble cake below, but perhaps this one.

So here's a recipe for Chocolate Marble cake. But would it be good as pound cake bought while hungry at the grocery store?

Chocolate Marble Cake

For the cake:
  • 100 grams (3 1/2 ounces) good-quality bittersweet chocolate
  • 4 eggs
  • 220 grams (1 cup plus 2 tablespoons) sugar (I use a blond unrefined cane sugar)
  • 120 ml (1/2 cup) yogurt or buttermilk, or whipping cream
  • 220 grams (7 3/4 ounces, about 1 2/3 cups) flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 120 grams (1/2 cup plus 1 teaspoon) butter, melted and cooled (I use semi-salted, add a good pinch of salt if you use unsalted)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (possibly homemade)
  • 1 tablespoon cacao nibs (optional)
For the syrup:
  • 40 ml (1/6 cup) water
  • 1 tablespoon cacao liqueur or liqueur/brandy of your choice (optional)
  • 15 grams (1 rounded tablespoon) sugar
Makes one loaf.

Preheat the oven to 165°C (330°F); you can use the preheating oven to melt the butter, as described here. Use a little of the melted butter to grease a loaf pan. Mine is 9 x 26 cm (3 1/2 by 10 1/4 inches), but one that's 5 by 9 inches (12.7 x 22.8 cm) would be fine; it just needs to be about 1.6 liters (7 cups) in capacity.

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave, and set aside. Combine the flour with the baking powder and set aside.

Prepare the two batters side by side: in the first mixing bowl, beat 2 of the eggs with half of the sugar. Add in half the yogurt and whisk to combine. In a second mixing bowl, beat the 2 remaining eggs with the rest of the sugar, and whisk in the rest of the yogurt.

Fold half of the flour mixture into the first batter, then incorporate half of the melted butter and the vanilla, without overmixing. Fold the remaining flour mixture into the second batter, then add the rest of the butter and the melted chocolate.

In the prepared pan, pour a third of the vanilla batter. Add in half of the chocolate batter, and sprinkle with half the cacao nibs if using. Add another third of the vanilla batter, then the rest of the chocolate batter. Sprinkle with the remaining cacao nibs, and top with the remaining vanilla batter.

Here is a visual illustration of the layering of the batters (V stands for the vanilla batter, C for the chocolate batter, and dots for the cacao nibs):

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.

While the cake bakes, place the syrup ingredients in a small pan over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer, then remove from heat and set aside.

When the cake is baked, use a pastry brush to soak it with the syrup, until you've used it all up. Let rest for 30 minutes, then unmold and let cool on a rack. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

The End of Christmas

We had another light snowfall here yesterday and the frigid temperatures have returned with a vengeance. Until the weather warms up a little bit, the outdoor lights stay on and up on the house. But I spent much of today putting away the Christmas decorations and taking down the trees. Mrs. BA and I keep a Christmas tree in our bedroom. At the end of its tenure, it goes out the window. Fewer needles to clean up that way.

I promised a "Loot List" so everyone can see what a good person the Brave Astronaut must have been this year. Everyone at the launchpad must have been on the good list this year, because we all did well in the presents department.

The boys got a bevy of gifts from Mrs. BA and I and their aunts, uncles, and grandparents. Perhaps the best gift received by SoBA was the Cozy Coupe. When presented with it on Christmas Eve, he was beside himself with joy. I think he would have slept in it, if we gave him that option. LBA received the Star Wars trilogy on DVD, as he has shown an interest in seeing the movies. We had borrowed a VHS tape of the first movie (by the way, I only recognize Star Wars, the Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi, as the only movies worth watching) from our neighbor (although "he is too old to begin the training" - but "there is another"). This gift dovetailed nicely with a present from his aunt, a semi-official Stormtroopers helmet and blaster gun. He too, might have slept in it, given the opportunity. Both boys also used some Christmas money at FAO Schwarz in New York City, during our trip there after Christmas.

I received several great gifts:
  • From Mr. and Mrs. OSG - a T-shirt that reads "The Only Thing We Have to Fear, Is Fear Itself -- and Spiders" For those of you who know me well, it is possibly the best T-shirt ever.
  • Several long sleeve T-shirts for sleeping in (and a new pair of sleep pants). It has been rather cold (as I mentioned) and I have been keeping the heat down.
  • A Scrabble Page-A-Day Calendar, which has made its way to my desk at work and gives me a break for a few minutes each day. We'll see if it improves my Lexulous games on Facebook (where I'm sure it's your turn, if you're playing a game with me).
  • For my birthday a few days before Christmas, I received the new Stephen King book, Under the Dome. The book runs more than 1000 pages and I was sure it would take me months to get through. But it's so good, that I am already on page 375 and reading 20 pages or so a night.
  • Mrs. BA and I received a nice popcorn bowl and a six-month Netflix gift subscription, which will be a nice addition to our TV watching in the coming months.
  • I received a few sweaters, which will be nice for the same reasons the long-sleeve T-shirts are.
  • A few books, including the Onion's Front Pages and Rules for my Unborn Son (signed by the author), the blog of which I found last year and love reading.
  • A generous Lowe's Gift Card from my MIL, which may or may not become a new door for the basement.
Mrs. BA and I had a "Gift of the Magi" moment this year. We were in need of a new cooking thermometer (she also needed a new kitchen scale, which she got). I really wanted to get another digital instant read one, but couldn't find one I liked). I found one that was good - and so did she. So we now have two. But still no digital one.

Mrs. BA also looked for a new wallet for me, as I had asked for one. I has some specific ideas as to what I wanted, and she was unable to find one. So I ordered one for myself after Christmas. Like the thermometer, it's not the best one out there, but it will do for now.

So how'd you do? Get everything you want?

Thursday, January 7, 2010

So here we are - 2010

It's a new year. 2010. A new decade . . . although Mrs. BA debates that point, but that's a different story. Looking back over my recent posts, I see that I have somewhat neglected Order from Chaos. I have several draft posts which need a little more fleshing out and several Monday recipes ready to go so there has been some content out there. Would you all miss me if I stopped blogging? This would be the point where you go and leave a comment and say yes. Placate me.

I am going to try and be better about my time management this year. My day is fairly well structured in its unstructuredness. The Brave Astronaut clan starts its day with Mrs. BA in the shower and me getting breakfast for LBA and SoBA. On many mornings - and I/we had a conversation with LBA just last night about this - instead of "good morning" from LBA when he pitter-pats into our room in the morning, we often get, "Can I watch a show?" Perhaps LBA's New Years Resolution will be less TV, he just doesn't know it yet. Some mornings we also get a request for "I want Mommy to give me breakfast," meaning I'm in the shower first. But however it shakes out, we all try to be out of the house by 8:00. That's the goal. (Yesterday our day started much earlier, but I'd rather not relive that anytime soon.) Of course, if we are running late and I help Mrs. BA and the boys get on their way and I haven't showered yet, I often fall victim to "The West Wing," which is on Bravo each morning. Though I can time it that I can get my shower done during one of the interminable commercial breaks.

Once at work, I have more than enough to keep me busy. My goal this year is to be more productive and so far I am doing pretty well in that regard. My To Do List is rather lengthy, but I'm working the problems. I would like to say that I plan to build a lunchtime visit to the Fitness Center back into my work day, but for now, that is not in the cards.

The evenings involve getting dinner together for the family, as I am the one who is home first. On some occasions, I can manage to get dinner for the boys together and Mrs. BA and I will forage later after they are in bed. That would be another New Years Resolution, plan and execute more family dinners. It's one of my most favorite times of the day. I like us all sitting around together. LBA is at the age where he has a lot to say and much of it is amusing and I like talking with him about his day. SoBA is close to talking and he has many words and expressions to convey what it is he needs or wants.

Next, the boys get baths (most nights) and then it's off to bed. I often get SoBA, who is the easier of the two to get to bed (it's getting him to stay there all night, but that's a different story), which involves a story or two, perhaps part of a show on TV, and then he willingly goes off to bed. While still in a crib, the big boy bed is coming, I think, this summer. LBA gets a few stories, after a show, and then goes to bed. By this time it is close to 9:00 and there is still a lot to accomplish, let alone things that I (or Mrs. BA) would like to do.

The siren call of the computers often get the best of us and we are often working (or playing on Facebook - in my case) on our laptops, while watching something on TV. However, there are a number of archival projects that I would like to accomplish this year. I have started working on the family archives of late and next up will be a rather extensive project to gain intellectual control of the Brave Astronaut photo collection. Anybody have a scanner I can borrow?

There are of course any number of things that could be accomplished around the house. We have been there a little over two years now and I guess it's time to start dealing with some routine maintenance. I'd like to do a little painting and I would really love a new shed. Spring cleaning may get interesting at the launchpad.

None of the above are excuses for my neglecting the blog. But it is a bit of a declaration as to why I might not be here as much as I would like over the next few months. But don't worry, I won't be far. And there's always recipe Mondays so you know I'm still around. I have a post (still in my head as of today) that I will put out this weekend as Christmas comes to an end at the Brave Astronaut launchpad (watch for the Loot List!) and a number of draft posts, which I mentioned earlier, which I hope to get ready to roll out soon. And then there's all those starred items in my Google Reader . . . why is it that I can't be afflicted with insomnia again?

The Brave Astronaut Christmas / Holiday cards went out late this year. If you were not a recipient of the "official" card this year, please accept my sincere wishes to you and yours that you had a great holiday and that 2010 holds for you nothing but health and happiness.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Eat With Caution

Here's a recipe that is sure to please, but not if you've decided to start a diet for the New Year. Courtesy (as it has been many times before) of Special Cheverly Chef, Scott.

White Cheese & Sausage Pasta
from Culinary in the Desert
I made this for dinner last night. It was good! Gut bomb good! Spicy from the sausage. Ridiculously creamy and gooey from the cheese and bechamel sauce. Stupid Good. I more or less followed the recipe; even though I didn't have it in front of me, so some of the quantities were off and I ad libbed a bit. Added some shredded white cheddar cheese (1/2 cup) as well as the mozzarella and parm.

Instead of using another baking dish, I made sure to boil the pasta in an oven-proof pot. After I drained the pasta, I dumped it back in the pot and poured the sausage/sauce mixture over, stirred and baked. Saved us a little extra clean up. I used a half pound of spicy ground pork sausage, not turkey sausage. I don't think it matters much. But use the spicy if you like some good heat. If not, use regular, but add a little red pepper flake. You want some heat to cut through all the creamy, cheesey goodness.
  • 4 cups dry rigatoni or any other short tube-shaped pasta
  • 8 ounces hot Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
  • 2 TB butter
  • 3 TB all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 3 ounces fresh grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 400.

In a large pot of boiling salted water, add pasta and cook according to package directions. Drain.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat, add sausage - cook until browned, stirring to crumble. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside.

Add butter to the same skillet and allow to melt over medium heat - whisk in flour and allow to cook, whisking, for a minute or two. Gradually add milk, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Cook, stirring, until thick, about 8 minutes - remove from heat.

In a large bowl, toss together the sauce, cooked sausage Parmesan, crushed red pepper and salt. Scoop the mixture into a 7" x 11" baking dish coated with nonstick spray. Scatter the top with mozzarella. Bake until bubbly and the top is lightly browned, about 20 minutes.