This casserole is simple and delicious, and makes a perfect snack during a picnic (bento anyone?)—you should use it as a basic idea for a casserole, since the pasta sauce is the stable and the most important piece of the meal. It's also a very tweak-able recipe! :-)
This is one of my signature dishes—it's delicious, rich and hearty, and goes well with any kind of base: pasta, potatoes, and rice just taste superb together. My secret to the intensive, flavorful sauce is the triple reduction of the ingredients' fluids, due to cooking in batches and mixing in specific order. It takes some time, but the result is so much worth it! :-)
Nothing compliments the strawberries like the cream-cheese icing, and you can enjoy this taste even off-season with strawberry jam! :-) You can skip limit the calories in this recipe by using lighter strawberry jam, or pulverized strawberries, and using half of the sugar in the cupcake part if you want the cupcakes less sweet.
Red peppers are my favorite vegetables—they are crunchy, but also can be cooked soft, and have a sweet aroma that you can twist easily with additional spices. I needed lately some pasta sauce, and decided to experiment with red pepper pesto sauce, it turned out amazing and I think you will like that too! :-)