Monday, November 5, 2012

Pepperoni Pizza Pasta


 My kids and husband love pepperoni pizza.  I had all the fixings for a pizza in my fridge like pepperoni, sauce and cheese, but no crust. So I improvised and used pasta as my base instead.  My son is still asking if there are any leftovers.  I think he is just hinting for me to make it again soon.  This dish is really quick to put together and finishes off in the oven.  I loved the pizza flavor I got from the pasta and the kids ate every morsel, unlike most pizzas where we have pizza crust leftovers.

lb of penne pasta ( used whole grain)
1 bag of pepperoni slices (leave 15 slices for topping)
1 medium onion finely chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic grated
1 jar of favorite spaghetti sauce
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
red chili flakes to taste
sprinkle of sugar (if needed)
salt and black pepper to taste
2 cups of grated mozzarella cheese
1 Tbs canola oil

Cook pasta shy of al dente (fully cooked) by 2 minutes. Save 1 cup of pasta water before draining pasta.   Then heat oil in pan and add onions and garlic. Saute until tender.  Then add pasta sauce, oregano, basil, red chili flakes, starchy pasta water salt and pepper.  Taste sauce and if needed add a sprinkle of sugar.  Add cooked pasta and pepperoni slices (leave some for topping) into sauce.  Toss well.
 Place all pasta and pepperoni into 9x13 baking dish.  Top with cheese and reserved slice pepperoni.  Bake in a 375 degree oven for 20-25 minutes.  Allow pasta to sit for 10 minutes before serve.  Enjoy.

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