I was inspired to make this pizza casserole when I saw Tasty Kitchen member How to Pinch a Penny's recipe. I halved her recipe (as it served 8) and swapped in and out a few ingredients to suit my tastes. And I have to tell you--this was the best thing I've eaten in a long time. WOW! I'm not normally a casserole fan, but with piano lessons bumping into our dinner time, this was the perfect solution. My version of the recipe makes 4 servings, but honestly it only served my husband and I. We cleaned the dish. This was amazing! Your family will love you forever for this. I promise
Pizza Pasta Casserole Recipe
recipe based loosely off Tasty Kitchen recipe
Makes 4 servings
1/2 lb ground beef
1/2 onion, chopped finely
2 cloves garlic, chopped finely
Crushed red pepper
1 cup fresh baby spinach, finely chopped
4 cups short cut pasta
2 cups pasta sauce
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup pepperoni slices, halved
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Bring water to a boil in a 2 quart sauce pan. Cook your pasta about a minute short of al dente, about 7 minutes. Drain the pasta.
In a large skillet, brown your ground beef over medium heat until nicely browned. Drain off the fat and transfer the cooked meat to a clean plate or bowl. Leaving a bit of the drippings in the pan will be fine. You are going to be sautéing the onion in a minute anyway.
Sauté the onion and garlic in the rendered beef fat till soft, translucent and slightly golden on some of the edges. Sprinkle in desired amount of crushed red pepper (a pinch or two). Add olive oil or more pan drippings if there is not enough to sauté properly. In the last minute of cooking stir in chopped spinach.
To the skillet of sauteed onions/garlic/spinach add pasta, browned meat, pasta sauce, most of the mozzarella (reserving some for the topping), and pepperoni. Stir to combine.
Coat a deep dish pie pan or a 9x9 inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
Spoon in pasta mixture and sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese.
Bake for 45 minutes at 350F or until heated through and bubbly.