The main idea of this was good--the creamy noodles under the layer of meat and cheese, etc. But the pepperoni, I thought, didn't quite go with the dish. The first time I made this I'd gotten the recipe from somewhere else and used a combination of hamburger and sausage in the meat layer and left out the pepperoni. I used thicker than usual spaghetti on the bottom layer and increased the amount of sauce a little. It turned out just delicious. Maybe I just had beginner's luck on the first one, but I didn't like this casserole as made by this recipe nearly as much.
Pizza Casserole Deluxe
Win over all of the kids and grown-ups in your house with this new instant classic that feeds more than two everything pizzas. Fresh and packaged mozzarella give it the best melty consistency.
More From Southern Living
Total: 1 Hour, 15 Minutes
- 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
- 1. 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.
- 2. 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.
- 3. Prepare pasta according to package directions in a large Dutch oven.
- 4. 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.
- 5. 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.
- 6. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until cheese is melted and lightly browned. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
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