Pizza. PIZZA! Pizzahhhhhhhhh!!!
Is there a way that pizza (in its various forms) isn’t yummy?
But sometimes…the local pizza joint, or a Pepperoni Pizza Hot Pocket, or English Muffin Pizzas just fail to satisfy.
Sometimes, pizza gets a little ho-hum. Mundane. Ordinary. Boring. Trite. Overdone (and I don’t necessarily mean burnt).
Sometimes you can (gasp!) get sick and tired of pizza.
That is when pizzahhh needs a reboot.
Today’s reboot comes courtesy of Kraft Recipes. Well, mostly. If you have been reading this blog for any length of time, you know that it is impossible for me to follow a recipe exactly. I. Must. Modify.
And luckily, this recipe is easily modifiable and adaptable.
What is it, exactly?
Pepperoni Pizza Lasagna.
Let me repeat that lusciousness again. Pepperoni Pizza Lasagna.
Cheesy, saucy, meaty, pasta-y, veggie goodness.
And easily adaptable.
Yes, this is recipe nirvana. (And not the band)
Nirvana (the band) is not exactly the genre of music I hear in my head when making and consuming copious amounts of this recipe. Sinatra, yes. Alternative? No. Think the Olive Garden soundtrack. “When the moon meats your eye, like a big pizza pie…”
And, now back to recipe matters and not mangling-lyrics matters.
The original recipe calls for raw diced bell pepper and onion. That creates two problems in our household. 1) The peppers and onions don’t get completely cooked, and 2) Muffin is not a fan of raw bell pepper and raw onion. And, since he eats so many other healthy things, I have learned not to push my luck.
So, we adapted. We subbed olives for the peppers and onions. I think it would also be fabulous with most pizza toppings. Except maybe pineapple. As much as I love pineapple pizza, the thought of pineapple and lasagna noodles makes me slightly nauseated.
But Italian sausage, browned and added to the sauce and crumbled over the top? Definitely! (Even though we haven’t tried it that way yet.)
So, what do we do usually?
Pepperoni Pizza Lasagna
Adapted from Kraft Recipes (see link above)
1 egg, beaten
1 (15 ounce) container part-skim ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
2 cups shredded mozzarella, divided
1 pkg. pepperoni, divided (I used the 6 ounce package from Aldi)
1 cup (1 can large pitted ripe olives, sliced) veggies, divided
1 jar (24 ounces) smooth pasta sauce (Traditional flavor, if possible)
1/2 cup water
1 package lasagna noodles, uncooked (You will not use them all.)
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix together the egg, ricotta, Parmesan, and half of the mozzarella.
Reserve 12-15 pepperoni slices and 1/2 cup olive slices (or 1/4 cup other vegetation). Chop remaining pepperoni. Add it to a medium bowl with sauce, water, and remaining vegetation (olives).
Spray a 9×13 dish or foil pan with cooking spray. Spread 1/2-3/4 cup sauce on the bottom. Top with a layer of lasagna noodles, broken to fit, as necessary; 1/3 ricotta mixture; and 1/2 cup of sauce. Repeat layers twice. Top with lasagna noodles, sauce, cheese, and reserved toppings (meat and vegetation). Cover with foil sprayed with cooking spray.
Bake 35 minutes. Uncover and cook 10 minutes more. Remove from oven and cool completely. Cut into serving-sized squares, with a slice of pepperoni centered in the square.
Chill or freeze.
When ready to eat, remove the desired number of squares and reheat in the microwave until heated through.
*Note: I tried eating this 10 minutes post-oven, but the noodles are on the hard side of al dente. For some reason, chilling it overnight after cooked softens the noodles to a more preferable al dente (as in, you can then chew them).
This recipe was definitely Muffin Approved!
What is your favorite pizzahhhh variation?