- 1 (1-lb.) package ground mild Italian sausage
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 (26-oz.) jar marinara sauce
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- 1/2 medium-size red onion, chopped
- 1/2 medium-size red bell pepper, chopped
- 1/2 medium-size green bell pepper, chopped
- 1/2 (8-oz.) package sliced baby portobello mushrooms
- 1 cup sliced black olives
- 1/2 cup pepperoni slices, chopped
- 1 (16-oz.) package rigatoni pasta
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 cups half-and-half
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, shredded (2 cups)
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 (8-oz.) package shredded mozzarella cheese
- 8 to 10 pepperoni slices
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 350°. Cook sausage and garlic in hot oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat 5 to 7 minutes or until sausage crumbles and is no longer pink. Remove with a slotted spoon, reserving drippings in skillet. Drain sausage mixture on paper towels, and transfer to a medium bowl. Stir marinara sauce and 1/2 tsp. salt into sausage mixture.
Sauté onion and next 3 ingredients in hot drippings 5 minutes or until tender; stir in olives and chopped pepperoni. Reserve 1/4 cup onion mixture.
Prepare pasta according to package directions in a large Dutch oven.
Melt butter in a heavy saucepan over low heat; whisk in flour until smooth. Cook, whisking constantly, 1 minute. Gradually whisk in half-and-half; cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, 7 to 10 minutes or until mixture is thickened and bubbly. Stir in fresh mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, pepper, and remaining 1/2 tsp. salt. Pour sauce over pasta in Dutch oven, stirring to coat. Stir in onion mixture.
Transfer pasta mixture to a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish, and top with sausage mixture, packaged mozzarella cheese, reserved 1/4 cup onion mixture, and pepperoni slices.
Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until cheese is melted and lightly browned. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.