Saturday, March 19, 2016

Pasta Pizza Pie

What's not to love about a mash-up of two great and pasta? If you have young kids, they will be drawn to this meal like octogenarians to Juan Ponce de Leon's Fountain of Youth. It's appeal is universal...satisfying... and it is so incredibly delicious.

What I'm going to share with you today is a recipe for a Sausage and Pepperoni Pasta Pizza Pie. But, as we know, the combinations of ingredients for pizza are infinite. So this is just a basic outline. If you're into Supreme Pizza,  Four Cheese Pizza or Margherita Pizza, just switch up the ingredients to suit your own tastes.

And almost any type of pasta will do. I prefer penne with ridges as it does the best job of getting coated with the sauce. But you can easily substitute macaroni, rigatoni or whatever your heart desires. This recipe serves six unless you have two ravenous college boys, like I do, in which case it will only serve four.

1 pound of bulk, hot Italian sausage
1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (24 oz) jar spaghetti sauce
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
½ teaspoon thyme
½ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon dried basil
8 oz penne pasta
4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
sliced pepperoni


  1. In a large skillet, brown sausage over high heat, breaking it up into small crumbles while it cooks. Drain and set aside.
  2. Return skillet to heat and cook onions and garlic until they are translucent (about 5 minutes).
  3. Heat a large pot of water to a boil. Add penne and cook until al dente (about 1 minute less than the instructions on the package). Drain.
  4. Put drained penne in skillet with onion/garlic mixture. Put sausage back in the skillet as well.
  5. To the skillet, add the spaghetti sauce, diced tomatoes, pepper flakes, thyme, oregano and basil.
  6. Turn burner to medium high heat and cook for 5 minutes, thoroughly stirring once a minute.
  7. Preheat broiler.
  8. Top pasta with shredded cheeses and then add pepperoni on top.
  9. Place under broiler for 3-5 minutes (until cheeses are melted).
  10. Serve.

Pairing: Chianti Classico

Happy birthday to my goddaughter, Alison Wirth!

Alison with her Uncle Dirtball, circa 1977.

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