Sunday, February 17, 2008

The Pizza Without a Crust

I hate to say it, but I'm kind of becoming tired of our weekly pizza night and we're only two months into it. I needed something different and was glad to find the recipe for Pizza Casserole.

I must admit, we were both somewhat skeptical of the idea of pizza casserole. First of all, it called for bowtie pasta instead of any crust. Second of all, the sauce is a regular pasta sauce instead of pizza sauce. I wanted to try it, and I tagged it for a Recipezaar game, so I did have to make it. We soldiered on.

It wasn't very difficult to make at all, not really any more difficult than making a real pizza. It ended up being like an interesting cross between a lasagna and a pizza. It tasted like a pizza, but the texture was more like a lasagna. It felt more pizza-like the next day for leftovers.

Despite being so skeptical about trying it, we both ended up loving it and the leftovers of a huge pan only lasted us two days! I'll definitely make this again.

The only change I made to the recipe is that I left out the ham. I didn't have any and I don't really like ham much anyway.

Tomato Basil Pizza Sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 large can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 large can tomato sauce
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
4 tablespoons basil

  1. Heat oil in sauce pan over medium heat.
  2. Add garlic and cook for about 30 seconds or until fragrant.
  3. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, salt, and pepper. cook for about 15-20 minutes or until slightly thickened, stirring and mashing tomatoes with potato masher to crush.
  4. Add basil, stir to blend.
Pizza Casserole
1 lb. bowtie pasta
1 lb sausage
1 large onion chopped
sauce (2- 26 oz. jars of spaghetti sauce if not using homemade)
½ lb. cubed cooked ham
½ lb. pepperoni (more or less depending on how far you spread)
24 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
6 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano

  1. Cook pasta until al-dente.
  2. Meanwhile, cook sausage, garlic powder, and oregano in a sauté pan until cooked and juices run clear.
  3. In a slightly greased 9"x13" baking dish, coat the bottom with a thin layer of sauce.
  4. Layer ingredients as follows:
  5. Layer 1: 1/3 pasta, 1/3 sauce, 8 oz. mozzarella cheese, 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, sausage, and onions.
  6. Layer 2: 1/2 remaining pasta, 1/2 remaining sauce, 8 oz. mozzarella cheese, 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, ham.
  7. Layer 3: remaining pasta, remaining sauce, 8 oz. mozzarella cheese, 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese.
  8. Cover top layer with pepperoni.
  9. Bake in 375°F oven for 40 minutes or until cheese is melted and casserole is bubbling.
  10. Let sit for approximately 5 minutes before serving.


Made by Lena