Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Pepperoni Pizza Casserole

What do you do when half of your family is wanting pasta and the other half is madly craving pizza?  So why not combine the two!  We happened to have some rigatoni pasta around so I thought to make a pizza flavored pasta.  We always have pepperoni on hand so I knew this would be a cinch to make. It kinda reminds me of lasagna meets pizza in a casserole form. 

Both the pasta lovers and the pizza fanatics loved it!  It was ooey gooey cheesy with a fun pepperoni twist.  Next time I'll add some red peppers.  It would be great with other pizza toppings like green peppers or mushrooms!  

Pepperoni Pizza Casserole

12 oz. pasta of choice
1/2 lb. Italian sausage
3 cups pizza sauce or marinara sauce
4 oz. pepperoni
8 oz. ricotta cheese
2 cups mozzarella, shredded
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
1 tsp. oregano
1/2 cup black olives, sliced (optional)

Cook the pasta as directed on package. Cook a little less as it will continue cooking in the oven. 

Cook sausage in a large pan, about 10 minutes until done.

Mix the sauce with the sausage.  Add 3/4 of pepperoni and olives if using. 

Mix the ricotta, mozzarella and parmesan and set aside. 

Place half the pasta in the bottom of a large baking dish.  Top with half of the sauce, followed by half of the cheese.  Repeat with another layer of each, finally topping with pepperoni and oregano. 

Bake at 350, covered with foil until bubbling at the sides, about 20 - 30 minutes.  Remove the foil and bake  until the cheese has melted and started to turn golden brown, about 10 minutes. 

You can change things up and use more of your favorite pizza toppings!  Mushrooms and green peppers would be awesome!

This is linked with Camilla's Virtual Potluck featuring CHEESE on Culinary Adventures!

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