Pepperoni Pizza Lovers Rigatoni Pasta

Yeah, I know you can see my reflection on the serving spoon above.  I was too lazy to create a whole new layer in Photoshop and clone it out.  Don’t look too closely or you will see my favorite scraggly tank and my bed head which sometimes stays beddy until the early afternoon.   And it’s good the camera is covering my face because I’ll let you in on a little secret–I don’t usually put make-up on to blog.  Sometimes I don’t even shower.

And now I’m thinking that I should go back into my archives and check all of the silverware in every picture.  Who knows what I may have unknowingly revealed to the world in a the well of a spoon or the blade of a knife.  *Blogger shudders in fear*

But the pasta looks great, don’t you think?  It was great.  It was a huge hit. So big, in fact, that my son-in-law said he might like it better than lasagna.  This is huge if you know my son-in-law.  Which you probably don’t.  But still.

Before I give you my notes on the recipe, though, I have some important announcements to make.

First.  I shot the cover of a magazine.

Let me say it again.

I SHOT THE COVER OF A MAGAZINE. 

The December/January issue of eat.drink.MississippiIt’s on the newsstands now.  Probably not in Alaska, though.  But definitely in Mississippi. 

Secondly, I have a spread in another magazine.

Let me repeat.  I HAVE A SPREAD…

…you get it, right?  I am excited.

The magazine is Town & Gown, another Mississippi magazine, and it’s their December issue.  I have several recipes and photos.  You should *run* to the local bookstore to buy both of these.  Unless you live in Alaska.  Then I wouldn’t bother.

 Okay, here are my notes: 

-First, I bought turkey pepperoni by accident and it was…weird.  It tasted good, but the texture was weird.  And curly.  I think I would prefer the regular variety better but it did taste alright.

-I used Bertolli’s Olive Oil, Garlic, and Basil pasta sauce.  

-I used regular block mozzarella for the pasta part that I shredded myself.  For the layers, I used fresh mozzarella that I sliced myself and I really think it made this over the top good.  The kicker is that I don’t know how much I used.  The package was very fresh, like from a local farm fresh, and it didn’t have the weight on the package.  I estimate it to be about 12-16 ounces.

-My dish was an oval casserole dish, but I think a 13 x 9 inch would be fine.

-I placed mine under the broiler for a golden brown crust on top.

-Let this set for about 10-15 minutes before digging in.

Pepperoni Pizza Lovers Rigatoni Pasta
16 ounces dried rigatoni
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Non-stick cooking spray
1 (24-ounce) jar marinara or pasta sauce
1 (4.5-ounce) package pepperoni slices
12-16 ounces sliced fresh mozzarella
Grated parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  In a large pot, cook rigatoni according to package directions to al dente.  Immediately rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process.  Drain and set aside. 
In a large heavy saucepan, melt 1/4 cup butter over medium to high heat; add flour and whisk for 1 minute.  Gradually whisk in the milk and continue to cook over medium to high heat, stirring constantly, until thickened and bubbly.  Stir in the salt, pepper, and 3 cups of the shredded cheese until melted.  Stir in the rigatoni.
Spray a 13 x 9-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.  Pour in half of the pasta in a single layer.  Spoon 1/2 of the marinara sauce carefully over the pasta.   Top with 1/2 of the sliced fresh mozzarella and 1/2 of the pepperonis.  Repeat layers once ending with pepperonis.  Bake for 30-40 minutes or until cheese is golden brown and pasta is bubbling in center.  Let stand for 15 minutes before serving.  Sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes, if desired.

Comments

  1. sbmensi says

    Congratulations on your cover and your spread! I’m not in Alaska; I’m in Mississippi, so I’ll be checking my local newsstands soon. Way to go. Keep on cookin’, lady!

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