Yum! I could eat this with a little salad dressing just as it is. I think a better name for this dish is "Everything But the Kitchen Sink" casserole or "Clean Out the Fridge and Freezer" casserole! I know the recipe calls for whole wheat pasta shells; I've tried and tried to like them but I just can't do it. The same with gluten-free pasta - yuch! If I'm going to eat pasta it will be good old-fashioned 'white' macaroni.
I prefer to make my own seasonings and spice blends but she keeps referring to this particular blend. I always see it on the shelf at the grocery store so this time I finally bought it. It's got a nice spicy kick with the red and black pepper and chili powder in it.
I'm glad I followed the directions and used my big lasagna pan because this makes a Huge amount. We will be eating leftovers for a few days! I don't think this would freeze very well. I might have to try a little and see how it defrosts. I had to add just a little Daiya cheddar and mozzarella on top.
The sauce for this is quite tasty. The addition of the liquid smoke really brings out all the flavors. I garnished my pasta with some chopped green onions.