Pizza Pasta

What do you get when you combine the simplicity of a casserole with the deliciousness of pizza? Pizza Pasta! This dish is one of our all-time favorites. I actually came up with it while I was working as the kitchen manager at a preschool. I was working on the menu for the month and I was trying to come up with something different, besides the basic chicken nuggets and tater tots. We had pasta, pasta sauce, and frozen sausage on hand. Light bulb! I threw them all together and topped it with mozzarella, and Pizza Pasta was born!

If this doesn’t immediately become your family’s favorite meal ever, then I don’t want to know your family. (Just kidding, I’m sure you’re wonderful people. Just lacking in the taste department.)

The thing I love about this is as long as you have the basics, you can pretty much throw in anything you like to have on your pizza – mushrooms, onions, bell peppers, olives, whatever. Except Canadian bacon and pineapple. That won’t work with this recipe, mostly because it doesn’t work on pizza in the first place! Ha ha! You can also omit some cheese or the meats to make it a little healthier.

So without further ado, here you go.

Pizza Pasta

Ingredients

1 lb. Italian Sausage

1 package pepperoni (or one whole one from the deli)

1 24 oz. jar pasta sauce, any flavor

1 16 oz. container of cottage cheese

1 package of shredded mozzarella cheese

1 package of shredded cheddar cheese

1 lb. penne pasta

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Brown the Italian sausage. I also like to cook the pepperoni to get some of the fat out and crisp it up some, but that is optional.
  3. Cook the pasta according to package directions, and then drain.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the cooked pasta, sausage, pepperoni, pasta sauce, and cottage cheese, and any additional ingredients you are adding. Also add one handful of the mozzarella cheese and cheddar cheese. Stir together until combined.
  5. Pour into a 13×9 pan. Top with mozzarella and cheddar, to your liking (add as much or as little as you want).
  6. Bake for 40 minutes, or until brown and bubbly.

Note: Why the cottage cheese? I’ve tried it with ricotta and it just doesn’t turn out as creamy. The cottage cheese just works the best.