This dish reminds me a lot of Pizza Spaghetti, so no surprise that it was a big hit with KK! I added a red and green pepper to the dish to sneak some veggies into our meal (and also to use them before they went bad), and it was certainly a positive addition. I had leftover pasta mixture after filling my 2.5-qt. corningware dish, so I filled a smaller 15-oz. baking dish with the remaining pasta. I cooked both at the same time, and it did not affect the cook time. We paired this pasta bake with a 2010 Casa Emma Chianti Classico which is one of the vineyards we visited in Tuscany last fall. We were thrilled to find a wine shop near Kevin’s parent’s house where Casa Emma wine is sold! As usual, KK and I both topped our servings with a generous amount of crushed red pepper flakes!
Pepperoni Pasta Bake
Adapted from Gimme Some Oven
Time: 55 minutes
1 lb. gemelli
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 green pepper, diced
½ tsp dried oregano
4 cloves garlic, minced
24-oz. jar marinara sauce
15-oz. can diced tomatoes, drained
2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese, divided
½ cup Parmesan cheese
30 slides of pepperoni, sliced in half
2. While pasta is cooking, heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté onions for 2-3 minutes. Add diced peppers and cook an additional 5 minutes; onion should be translucent, and peppers should be soft. Add garlic and oregano to the skillet and cook for 1 additional minute. Once garlic is fragrant, remove skillet from heat.
3. Stir onion mixture marinara sauce, diced tomatoes, 1 ½ cups mozzarella, Parmesan cheese, and pepperoni into the pasta. Mix well.
4. Transfer pasta mixture into a greased baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese, cover with aluminum foil, and bake for 40 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 10-15 minutes, until cheese is bubbly and golden brown. Serve immediately.