"My mother created the dish in 1971, and submitted it to the Charlotte News and Observer's (Charlotte, NC) Cook-Off. It won First Place! Its been a family favorite and folks always ask for the recipe."
Cook sausage until crumbly. Remove from pan and saute onion, celery and pepper in drippings until onions are clear. Cook rice and noodle soup in 2 1/2 C water 8-10 minutes. Mix all ingredients and pour into large casserole. Sprinkle almonds on top. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 1/2 hour. Uncover and cook 1/2 hour longer, or until rice is done. Liquid should all be absorbed. Serve with soy sauce if desired.