We love pizza. It is that staple go to, ready in 20 minutes, meal. And when it is eaten out of my kitchen, it many times comes out of the freezer in shrink wrapped plastic. But, now I have an easy casserole that I can make that is as quick as spaghetti to make and then just requires a little baking time to melt all the cheese together.
This might look a lot like the chicken bacon ranch pizza casserole I made a while back. Well, it is much like that casserole, just the red pizza sauce version. Start with your ground meat of choice. I used ground pork and added a diced onion to skillet as I browned the meat.
Get a pound of pasta boiling while the meat is cooking. I used bow tie pasta because I think it is great at catching sauce. Then, when the meat is completely cooked, drain any excess grease and return to the pan. Then add the red sauce.
You basically need two jars of spaghetti sauce. I can’t seem to keep anything simple or in stock. So, I compromised with a jar of pizza sauce and a can of diced tomatoes as a substitute for another jar of spaghetti sauce. I poured the sauces and tomatoes into the cooked meat, and simmered while I added a dash of balsamic vinegar, tablespoon of brown sugar and some pasta sprinkle or oregano. When the pasta is done, it is time to get assembling. Start by putting 1/3 of the red meat sauce in the bottom of a 13 x 9 pan followed by 1/3 of the pasta.
Then you can add any additional “toppings” you would put on your pizza. We added pepperoni. But if you like mushrooms or peppers or onions or ham, add it all. The more the merrier. Then repeat the layers two more times. My casserole ended with pepperoni on top.
- 1 lb bow tie pasta
- 1 lb ground pork or beef
- 1 large onion, medium size diced
- 2 (26 ounce) jars spaghetti sauce or equivalent of pizza sauce and diced tomatoes
- ½-1 lb of sliced pepperoni*
- 4-5 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese
- ⅓ cup Parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon pasta sprinkle dried oregano
- *Any additional toppings can be used that you normally put on your pizza. You will need about a cup of each topping.
- Cook pasta till el dente while you begin browning meat.
- Brown ground meat with chopped onion. When completely cooked, drain grease and return meat to the pan.
- Add sauce to the meat and simmer as you add the balsamic, brown sugar and pasta sprinkle.
- In a lightly greased 9x13 pan, pour a small amount of meat sauce to lightly coat bottom.
- Begin layering with ⅓ of the pasta, 1-1.5 cups of mozzarella cheese, 2 Tablespoons parmesan cheese, pepperoni or any other toppings followed by ⅓ of the sauce.
- Repeat layers two more times. On the last layer, pour the sauce over the pasta instead of cheese and toppings.
- Cook on 375 for 30-40 minutes.
It was a big hit along side the chicken bacon ranch pizza casserole.
Can’t wait to see what everyone has prepared this week for Hunk of Meat Monday!