One of my daughters, K2, has food . . .quirks. She is picky in very unusual ways. She likes rice, but not in most cases. She loves carrots but not if its touching other food, or cooked in with other food. She loves foods that have salsa in them, but she hates anything that has salsa in it. I think you get the idea. One of her most frustrating quirks is red sauce. She hates red sauce, but not always. This is one recipe K2 snubbed because of its red sauce, but was required to taste due to our “one bite rule” (the kids have to try one bite of whatever we make before they can make their own dinner). She had one bite, hated it. Then. . . 2 minutes later asked for more, and proceeded to have three servings of it. Her reasoning that she likedit was “it had pepperoni in it, so the red sauce was fine.” I would like to point out that this is the same child that has a fit if her pepperoni pizza has red sauce on it.
Anyway, this is basically a baked pizza pasta. It is very very delicious.
You’ll need spicy/hot sausage, pepperoni, pasta sauce, egg noodles, and cheese. For cheese I just use whatever I have on hand. You need about 2 cups of shredded cheese (unless you like it cheesier) and you can even add cottage or ricotta cheese. I didn’t have any of that on hand, so I just omitted it.
What is so brilliant about this recipe is there are a couple places to hide healthy things in it. For example this time I shredded/minced 2 carrots and a half an onion. I precooked it so it was already soft, then added it it with the sausage as I was cooking it. Though you can see the carrots when I finished cooking the sausage, no one noticed them in the final product.
While you cook the sausage, boil water and cook the egg noodles al dente.
We usually use turkey pepperoni at my house, but you can use whatever pepperoni your family likes. I don’t like putting in the whole pepperoni slices, so I cut them into quarters, but you can also chop it into smaller pieces or use mini pepperoni. Now we usually use between half a bag and a full bag, its all going to depend on how much pepperoni flavor you want.
The recipe can be simplified by just mixing the noodles, sauce, pepperoni, sausage, and cheese together and dumping it into a 9X13 dish. However you can also do layers, which is what I did this time.
If I had thought ahead this time around I would have mixed the the sauce and pasta. Because I didn’t I had to kinda stir it in at each layer. Now if you like it saucier, cook less pasta, or add more sauce. I made a mistake and cooked a full 1lb of pasta, and didn’t have a full jar of sauce. Irony: my red sauce hating daughter didn’t like it this time as much as usual.
Grease a 9X13 dish (mine was dirty so I just used another casserole dish). Layer in the pasta/sauce mix, then pepperoni, cheese, then sausage, then start again. I did 3 layers (but only 2 layers of sausage, so it ended with pepperoni and cheese on top).
Now just a note about the last image there, I did one more set of layers (so when you see the finished result its not that the pasta suddenly expanded while baking)
Then you’ll just bake at 375 until the cheese is melted and it is heated through. You can omit the cheese on top until the last 5-10 minutes of baking so that it just melts, rather than browns (which is what happened for me because I forgot to check the pasta). So here is the finished result!
about 6-10 servings
- 12-16oz of egg noodles
- 1 jar favorite pasta sauce
- 1 lb spicy or hot sausage
- 3-6 oz package of pepperoni (or less), cut into quarters
- 2 cups of shredded cheese: mozzarella, italian mix, or whatever you have on hand
- small container of cottage or ricotta cheese (optional)
- shredded vegetables (optional)
- Preheat oven 375.
- Cook egg noodles until almost done.
- Brown sausage. Add shredded vegetables while browning, if using.
- Mix egg noodles, sauce, and ricotta/cottage cheese if using.
- Layer in a greased 9X13 1/3 of noodle mixture, 1/3 of pepperoni, 1/3 of cheese, and 1/2 of sausage.
- Repeat layers, ending with cheese on top.
- Bake at 375F for 15-30 minutes or until heated through and cheese inside is melted.
Shortcut: Step 3. Mix all ingredients together and pour into greased 9X13. Bake as directed above.