You too can witness the melty stretch of mozzarella as you lift up a scoop of sausage and kale pasta bake, thanks to Food Republic’s chamber of culinary wonder: our Test Kitchen. When we’re not centrifuging and sous-viding stuff (note: we have never done this), we’re throwing together comfort food dishes like this homestyle rigatoni casserole full of the stuff we were just going to make separately anyway.

Casseroles are my absolute favorite way to feed a lot of people when it’s cold. Now by casserole I by no means am implying that cream of some canned soup is involved in any way. They’re just nice big dishes of baked stuff. I make one using tons of squash layered with cheese that encourages folks to eat just as much squash as cheese. That’s the beauty of most great casseroles: a lot of cheese.