May 16, 2011

Pepperoni Casserole

Saturday night Jeffrey and I wanted to go see Thor at our local movie theater ($5 tickets, one of the benefits of small town living!), so I made dinner early so we wouldn't have to rush to get there.  The weather was still fairly chilly-unlike last Tuesday, when it was 92 degrees- and I thought this easy casserole sounded good.  To make the dinner a little more healthy, add a green salad.

Pepperoni Casserole

1 pound penne pasta
1 26.5 ounce can spaghetti sauce
1 3.5 ounce package sliced pepperoni
3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided into 1 cup and 2 cup portions
Prepared garlic bread in foil bag

This is a great casserole to make if you have hungry teenagers, or are serving dinner to your children's sleepover friends.  Almost every older kid likes pepperoni and cheese.  Because the pepperoni is fairly spicy already, you won't even have to add additional spices to the dish.  I think this would also go over very well at a potluck.

All the ingredients except the pasta!

You can see from my picture here that I'm all about using up what ingredients I have.  Jeffrey likes his dishes to have a certain look, but I didn't mind mixing up the three already-opened boxes of pasta that were in our little pantry.  So in the picture you'll see penne, bowties, and mini lasagne pasta. You can use whatever medium-sized shapes you have on hand.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (F.).  Cook the pasta until slightly al dente (not quite cooked all the way through) and drain.  Put pasta in a Dutch oven or other oven-safe cooking pot.  Add the spaghetti sauce and mix well.  Separate all the pepperoni and put them individually in the pasta mixture, mix again.  Add 1 cup of mozzarella cheese, stir well.  Top with the remaining 2 cups of mozzarella cheese.  Bake for 45 minutes.  Put the garlic bread in the oven, and bake both the casserole and the garlic bread an additional 15 minutes (1 hour total bake time for the casserole).

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