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November 21, 2008

Pizza Casserole

This is one of my husbands favorite Dishes and I'm making it for dinner tonight. Most of the time I make it with Pepperoni. I've tried it once with Italian Sausage when I didn't have pepperoni and it was pretty good. Not as good but both would be nice to try. Darin likes Salami so tonight I decided to add it with the pepperoni. I used 20 slices pepperoni and 8 slices Salami since they are bigger. I personally didnt care for it with the Salami and probably wouldn't use it again.


1 pkg Rotini Pasta
1 to 2 - 26.5 oz can - of Spaghetti sauce
1 14.5 oz can - Diced Tomatoes
1 - 8 oz pkg - of favorite shredded cheese
½ pkg of Hormel Pepperoni Mini’s
OR 20-30 slices Pepperoni from 8oz pkg
(only use this if you want less fat in the dish)
1 lb - Italian Sausage
Add Spaghetti Sauce (I use 2 cans because we like it saucy) and diced tomatoes to a skillet and heat up on medium - when sauce starts to bubble turn down to low. If you want to use Sausage, cook it first then add the sauce and tomatoes to it and keep on warm.

Cook Rotini Pasta and Drain.

While pasta is cooking, if you are degreasing pepperoni, do that now (see directions below). This won't take all the fat out but it will at least cut down on the fat content. It also gives it more of a crispy taste (which I like). Spray a casserole dish with cooking spray. Pour the cooked pasta into skillet with the sauce and stir. Leave on warm until pepperoni is done.

If using the minis add them here or when Pepperoni slices are cool enough to touch, tear them into 4 pieces and sprinkle them around in the sauce and then stir them in. Pour mixture into a 9x13 casserole dish and spread evenly. If you like you can add a few more pepperoni pieces or minis on top of dish.

Then pour the package of grated cheese over the top and spread evenly over the dish. Bake @ 350' for 15 minutes, until cheese is melted.
To Degrease Pepperoni:

2 ways to do this: Microwave or Oven
1 - Microwave Oven

Lay at least 2 Paper towels on a paper plate and then arrange 10 slices over the paper towels. Lay another paper towel or 2 over the pepperoni and cook for only 30 seconds. Repeat until all slices are cooked. Don't cook longer than 30 seconds or the pepperoni will get too hard. Let cool to touch then tear into 4 pieces. Tearing is easier than cutting after they are cooked.

2 - Preheat Oven to 300' put cooling rake on a cookie sheet and place 20 slices on top cooling rake. Make sure oven is preheated and it should only take 8 minutes to cook the pepperoni. Don’t over cook they will get to hard. Let cool to touch then tear slices into 4 triangular pieces.

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