Easy meal ideas are great in the warm weather months when you don’t want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen! This Upside Down Pizza recipe is easy to prepare and you can even cook your ground beef or sausage and chop up some of the topping ingredients ahead of time to speed up the prep work! Continue reading
If you’re a pizza fan, I think you’ll enjoy this recipe that I first made several years ago—Sweet Italian Sausage and Pepper Pizza. I put my own spin on a Ragù recipe called Sausage & Peppers by making it into a pizza—two pizzas, in fact! In addition to the yummy sweet Italian sausage, bell peppers, and Ragù® Old World Style® Traditional Pasta Sauce, I added some chopped onion, Mozzarella Cheese, and used Italian bread shells for the crusts to keep the recipe quick and easy. Continue reading
We’ve been having some super-cold weather these past few days, along with lots of snow and ice, so it seemed like a great time to make a good hot casserole! I thought I’d try a Pizza Spaghetti Casserole recipe I found at MyRecipes, but instead of using pork sausage in this, I used extra pepperoni and cheese so it would taste more like a pepperoni cheese pizza, which is my favorite kind. You can use turkey pepperoni in this if you like. I used a little more sauce, too, and I thought it was pretty tasty–a very good comfort food dish when it’s cold and yucky outside!
PEPPERONI PIZZA PASTA CASSEROLE by NancyCreative, adapted from MyRecipes
Makes a 9 x 13″ pan
- 1 (12-ounce) package uncooked pasta (you can use spaghetti or your favorite pasta noodles)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 (24-ounce) jar pasta sauce, plus another 1/2 jar (12-ounces) of sauce (a total of 36 ounces)
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 (8-ounce) package shredded Mozzarella cheese
- 1 (4 or 5-ounce) package pepperoni slices
- 1 (8-ounce) package shredded Italian cheese blend
Preheat oven to 350˚F. Lightly grease a 9 x 13″ baking pan or dish.
Cook pasta with 1/2 teaspoon salt according to package directions. Drain pasta well and put in a large bowl. Add in the 24-ounce jar of pasta sauce (save the other half jar of sauce for later) and grated Parmesan cheese, and toss ingredients together until all the pasta is coated with sauce and Parmesan cheese. Spread pasta/sauce mixture evenly into your baking pan or dish.
Sprinkle the shredded Mozzarella cheese evenly over the pasta mixture, then spread half of the pepperoni slices over the cheese. Drizzle the half jar of sauce (12 ounces, or 1 1/2 cups) evenly over the pepperoni, then top with the shredded Italian cheese blend. Arrange remaining pepperoni slices evenly over cheese. Place a sheet of aluminum foil lightly over the pan.
Bake at 350˚F for 30 minutes; remove foil, then bake another 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and just beginning to brown.
Casseroles are great during the cold weather months! What’s your favorite casserole dish?
Sharing this recipe at Meal Plan Monday.
I have a confession to make…I have never made homemade pizza! I’ve been wanting to make some, though, and very recently I had the opportunity to review a cookbook/guide to pizza-making called Thursday Night Pizza, written by Fr. Dominic Garramone, and published by Reedy Press. So this was the perfect time for me to attempt making pizza from scratch.
Father Dominic hosted a popular PBS show, Breaking Bread with Father Dominic, for several years and has tested his pizza recipes for the past twenty years on his fellow monks at the Saint Bede Abbey. After all that testing, I figured I couldn’t go wrong with any of his recipes! The book includes instructions for making 3 different pizza doughs, 8 sauces, 2 pestos, and several dozen recipes for pizzas (including some pizza appetizers and a few dessert pizzas).
The hardest thing was deciding which recipe to try first…there’s the the Four Cheese Tomato-Top Pizza, Italian Beef Pizza, Carbonara Pizza, Spicy Thai Peanut Chicken Pizza, Spinach Pesto Pizza, and Muffaletta Pizza, to name a few. I finally decided on the Pizza Margherita, because all the ingredients–fresh basil, tomato, mozzarella, and garlic–are favorites of mine. In the cookbook, it’s described as “A classic pie that is both rustic and elegant in its simplicity.” I like rustic and simple! 🙂
Now as far as the pizza crust goes, Father Dominic says homemade dough is always the best, so I used his recipe for Italian style dough (for a thick crust) on page 32 of his cookbook. It’s not that hard to make, and the crust was really good! However, when you make homemade dough, it does add a few hours to your pizza-making process; if you don’t have the time, you can use pre-made pizza crust, like the Boboli brand, or whatever type of crust you prefer. For the Pizza Margherita, a thick crust works best. Father Dominic also recommends using a pizza stone instead of a pan if you have one, and I did have a round pizza stone. But if you don’t, just use a pizza pan.
Here’s the recipe…
PIZZA MARGHERITA (from Thursday Night Pizza)
- Recommended crust: 8-12 oz. of Italian style dough (from page 32) OR pre-made thick pizza crust
- 4 large plum tomatoes, diced and drained
- 1 garlic clove, mashed and minced
- 3 or 4 large leaves of fresh basil, cut into strips (I found some fresh basil at my grocery store; even in winter, more stores are carrying fresh herbs now and you definitely want fresh basil for this)
- 1/2 pound fresh mozzarella, torn into pieces (I bought an 8-oz. block of mozzarella and shredded it with a grater)
- some cornmeal, for dusting your pizza stone or pan
Using your fingertips, hand-stretch the pizza dough to 12″ to 14″ and place on a pre-heated cornmeal-dusted baking stone or pizza pan. Toss diced tomatoes with garlic. Top the dough with the diced tomatoes and fresh mozzarella. Bake at 500 degrees until the crust is lightly browned and the mozzarella is fully melted (about 10-12 minutes). Remove from oven and top with strips of basil before serving.
If you like adding extra seasoning to your pizza, you might want to add a dash of salt or pepper to suit your taste.
This is a really nice and thick, cheesy pizza. And if I can make homemade pizza, I know you can, too! The recipes in Thursday Night Pizza are easy to follow, so don’t feel intimidated about trying any of them out!