Who doesn’t like pizza?
Yeah, the silence is deafening. There is something about gooey cheese, tangy tomato sauce, and carby-bready goodenss that rocks us right down to our toes. At least, most of us.
Personally I like an East Coast style pizza with just about everything on it. It is something that I can really get lost in – eating half the pie on the way home from the pizza place. Almost.
I think I learned to love pizza when we lived in a suburb of Philadelphia in the 1960s. There was this place not too far from the house called Frankie and Johnny’s. Now, when I say not too far please keep in mind that I was a kid and not too far could have been anything from a mile to 50 miles. There isn’t a lot a remember about it – lots of turquoise vinyl I think? We ate “in ” once in awhile but more often Dad would stop on his way home from work and grab a pizza. What I do remember was the aroma – pepperoni, bread, vinegar, cigarette smoke, and a herby tomato sauce permeating the entire place. I remember that I liked to pull the topping off of the crust and then pull the crust that was left through my teeth to scrape off the doughy bits. The cheese was stringy, hot, gooey and flavorful with a combination of fresh mozzarella and smoky provolone that still makes my mouth water when I think of it – even 45 years later.
My second favorite thing is a casserole because they are so easy, go together fast, and freeze well. The combination of the two things would be amazing, wouldn’t it?
Yeah. It is. I saw this recipe when perusing AllRecipes. I love that site for inspiration and the fact that the recipes are rated and commented on. It makes it easier to get one that you like and get ideas for tweaking.
Anyway, pizza casserole? Brilliant!
I used all the stuff I like in my pizza – pepperoni, onions, green peppers, olives, hamburger – you name it. I mixed it with cooked pasta and my favorite sauce for pizza and there it was! perfect, fast, and definitely something I will make again.
I’d think that most kids over the age of 10 could make this on their own. The trickiest part would be draining the macaroni. Give it a try and don’t be afraid to substitute your favorite pizza toppings for the ones called for in the recipe.
- 16 ounces wheel shaped pasta , cooked in salted water until tender
- 1/2 pound lean ground beef
- 1/2 lb spicy Italian sausage
- 1 onion , chopped
- 3 cloves garlic , minced
- 1 green bell pepper , chopped
- 1 cup sliced pepperoni , I used the mini pepperoni because it works better in casseroles
- 1/2 cup black olives
- 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
- 1/4 cup fresh chopped basil
- 1/4 cup fresh chopped oregeno
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
- 16 ounces pizza sauce (homemade or your favorite store brand)
- 1 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup shredded provolone
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C), if you have time to bake it - you can omit this step.
Cook the pasta in salted water until tender.
Brown the ground beef and Italian sausage with the garlic, peppers, onion, mushrooms until cooked through and the vegetables are tender.
Drain the excess fat.
Stir in the remaining ingredients except the cheeses.
Mix the cheeses together and add 1 cup of it to the meat and pasta mixture.
Add the mixture to a greased casserole dish.
Sprinkle the rest of the ingredients on top and bake for 15 minutes or until cheese melts.
If you aren't going to bake it you can melt the cheese on top with a kitchen torch or use the microwave.
Here are some more recipes for pizza casseroles that I found:
© 2012 Marye Audet