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Prepare yourself for a gastronomical adventure as we delve into the intricacies of creating a supreme pizza pasta casserole that will leave your taste buds bursting with excitement. Are you ready to embark on a journey that combines the classic flavours of pizza with the heartiness of pasta? If so, then join me on this culinary expedition.
We will begin by crafting a meaty pasta sauce that tantalizes your senses. Ground beef, pepperoni, fire-roasted tomatoes, bell peppers, and black olives will all dance together in a harmonious symphony of flavour. But we won’t stop there. We’ll take it up a notch by mixing the sauce with tube-shaped pasta, such as penne, ziti, or rigatoni, to create a delectable fusion of pasta and pizza. The mixture will then be placed in a casserole dish, where it will be baked to perfection in the oven. But wait, there’s more! We’ll also top it off with a generous helping of fresh mozzarella cheese, creating the quintessential cheesy pizza cords that all love.
This pizza pasta casserole is perfect for feeding large groups of people, as it boasts all the flavours of a classic pizza in a hearty pasta dish. I’ve even incorporated the flavours of the popular red bolognese sauce from the slow cooker beef and cheese pasta recipe that is a hit with kids.
But the secret to making this dish truly exceptional lies in the sauce. I always add a touch of sugar to the tomato sauce to balance the acidity and give it a more complex flavor profile. I also include beef broth cubes and Worcestershire sauce to add depth and richness. So, don’t expect a one-dimensional, sour tomato taste from this casserole. Instead, prepare to be blown away by its depth of flavour and complexity.
Pizza Pasta Casserole Cooking Tips
Here’s how to ensure your easy pizza pasta casserole turns out great!
- Cook pasta al dente. You don’t want mushy pasta in your casserole, so make sure to cook the pasta just until it is tender.
- Don’t cook the sausage for too long. Sausage should be baked until it is no longer pink, but you don’t want to overcook it, or it will be dry.
- Broil the food for a few minutes. You can place the casserole under the grill for a minute or two if you want the melted cheese on top to get brown and bubbly. Just watch it, so it doesn’t get too hot and burn!
- Make it in advance. This casserole can be done in the fridge or frozen before the period. Just make sure to let it fully thaw before you bake it.
Pizza Pasta Casserole Ingredients
1 (16-ounce) box of rotini pasta
2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 pound of mild Italian sausage with the skins taken off
6 ounces pepperoni, quartered
1 can (6 ounces) of tomato paste
1 (28-ounce) can of crushed tomatoes
4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tablespoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon of Italian spices
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon powdered onions
1/2 teaspoon powdered garlic
1/4 teaspoon of crushed red pepper
1/4 teaspoon of black pepper
Pizza Pasta Casserole Instructions
- In a medium-sized to large saucepan or stockpot, heat the olive oil. Add the garlic and cook for about 2 minutes, until it smells good.
- Add the Italian ground sausage and brown it into bite-sized pieces (like you would make for ground beef tacos).
- Mix in the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, and spices. Simmer, stirring each so often, for about 20 minutes.
- While the marinara sauce is heating up, turn the oven on to 350°F.
- Then, cook the rotini according to the directions on the package and drain.
- Stir together the cooked pasta, the marinara sauce, and about 4 ounces of the pepperoni.
- Put the pasta mix into a 9×13 baking dish that has been lightly greased.
- Put the rest of the cheese and pepperoni on top.
- Prepare for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until the cheese is completely melted and has started to brown.
- Serve right away, and have fun!
Pizza Pasta Casserole Preparation Time:
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Total: 50 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American and Italian
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 424 kcal
Pizza pasta casserole can be kept in the fridge for three to four days in an airtight container. To reheat, put the amount of casserole you want on a baking sheet and bake it in an oven warm to 350 degrees Fahrenheit until it is hot all the way through. You can utilize the microwave to heat individual portions.
Follow all the steps to assemble the casserole until you get to the part about freezing it. Then, wrap it stiffly in aluminum foil and put it in the freezer for up to 3 months. When ready to bake the casserole, remove it from the freezer and let it thaw in the fridge overnight.
Freezing a Cooked Pizza Pasta Casserole:
After baking, let the casserole cool completely before covering it tightly with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and putting it in the chiller for up to 3 months. When ready to eat, take the food out of the freezer and let it thaw in the fridge overnight. Warm separate servings in the microwave or put the whole dish in an oven set to 350 degrees Fahrenheit until it’s hot.
Extra suggestions for toppings:
Crispy bacon, sliced black olives, Canadian bacon, spinach, chopped onion, ground chicken, fresh mushrooms, jalapenos, diced tomatoes, or green bell peppers.
Is it possible to manufacture pasta out of pizza sauce?
Yes, pizza sauce can be used to make pasta. This dish makes a pizza pasta sauce with tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, and spices.
Is Pizza Pasta Casserole healthy?
I wouldn’t say I like putting things into healthy or unhealthy categories because I think you can eat almost anything in moderation as part of a healthy diet.
So, if you want to cut down on calories, you can still use lean meat or turkey pepperoni, whole wheat or protein pasta, and low-fat cheese. Also, you might want to add mushrooms, bell peppers, olives, or onions, all common pizza toppings, to the casserole. It’s similar to the supreme pizza pasta!
What is the difference between pasta and pizza?
Pasta is a noodle made from flour, water, and sometimes eggs. It is a common ingredient in Italian food and can be made in many shapes and sizes. Pizza is a flatbread that usually has tomato sauce, cheese, and other toppings on top.