Savory Sausage and Rice Casserole

This casserole was given to us by friends who write cookbooks.  It is great for family style dinners or pot luck.

1 cup uncooked long grain rice
1 package (2 0z.) chicken noodle soup mix (Mrs. Grass)
3½ cup water
1 lb. mild or hot bulk sausage
1 cup chopped onion
1 fresh green or red pepper, peeled and diced
½ cup celery, chopped
½ pound mushrooms, sliced
1 TBSP. fresh parsley
2 fresh tomatoes, peeled, seeded, chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper
~ ½ cup sour cream
Grated Parmesan cheese

Mix rice, soup mix, and water and cook until tender, ~ 15-20 minutes.  Brown sausage and crumble into small pieces.  Drain grease but leave ~ 1-2 TBSP fat in pan.  Sauté the celery, mushroom, onion, and green (red) pepper.  Combine rest of ingredients and add ~ ½ cup sour cream for a moist casserole.  Put mixture in 9 x 13 casserole dish.  Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and dot with butter. 

Bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

Serves ~ 4-6 servings

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