I have this problem, every time I go to the store, I tend to come home with a tub of sour cream and another block of Parmesan. It's not that we need it, I just have this irrational fear of running out of some of my favorite ingredients. This is a problem for someone like me who hits the market several times per week. I have to get real creative with sour cream and Parmesan, not that it's hard.
So this past week while rummaging through my cheese drawer, I came across the obligatory several blocks of Parmesan. I ended up grating all of it to make it easier to grab and use up quickly. But I also found mushrooms, onion, salami and mini pepperoni that needed a purpose. I won't even mention the over-abundance of penne pasta I have in the pantry (this is beginning to sound like a job for a therapist).
I wasn't in the mood to make pizza dough, which is where it seemed this was going. Luckily pasta stepped in and came to the rescue.
And what a rescue it was! This was some seriously delicious comfort food. It was saucy, cheesy and meaty, there could not have been a more perfect combo.
I had a house full of hungry, working men when this came out of the oven. Needless to say it disappeared in lightening speed. Could this be anymore manly? I think not.
Everyone will ask for seconds, I hope you have enough.
Penne Pasta Pizza Bake
- 2 heaping cups dry penne pasta
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1-1/4 cups diced onion
- 8 ounces sliced mushrooms
- 2 cups pizza sauce
- 1 can (15 ounce) Italian flavored diced tomatoes
- 8 ounces diced salami, divided
- 1 cup mini pepperoni slices, divided
- 1/2 cup sliced olives, divided
- Garnish with flecks of dried parsley (optional)
- 2-1/2 cups shredded Parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 2-quart baking dish with cooking spray (2-1/2 quart dish works too).
- Cook pasta according to package directions and set aside. In a nonstick skillet heat oil over medium-high heat. Saute onions and mushrooms until softened and browned, about 10 minutes.
- In a medium sized bowl, combine pizza sauce, tomatoes and onion-mushroom mixture. Spread a thin layer of this sauce on the bottom of the baking dish. Top with half the cooked penne pasta. Sprinkle half the salami, pepperoni and olives. Top with half the sauce and 1 cup of the Parmesan cheese. Repeat with remaining pasta, salami, pepperoni, olives, sauce and finally cheese. Your pasta will be piled high in the dish and it will cook down.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbling. Wait 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with flecks of parsley.