Monday, January 31, 2011

Pizza casserole

About a month ago - two days before his birthday - Tim excitedly tore a page out of his newspaper, telling me this recipe was for a dish his mother had made all the time when he was younger. He LOVED it, he said. I HAD to make it, he said. I'd be the BEST WIFE EVER. (OK, he might not have gone quite that far.) I told him I would save it and asked him to remind me about it after the holidays.

Fast forward to last week, when I was doing the meal planning and grocery list. We found out that Tim had gotten a promotion - a job that is perfect for him and that he is extremely excited about. We don't have a day off together for a while, but I wanted to celebrate the big news, so I told him I'd make the pizza casserole he had been begging for since last year. The promotion was officially announced today, so tonight's dinner was pizza casserole.

The first time I make a recipe, I try to follow it to the letter. I had two issues with this recipe - one, I think there is a step missing, and two, there is entirely too much sausage and cheese for my liking. To be honest, I wasn't all that impressed with it - I thought the soup and pizza sauce flavors jumped out a bit too much, and again, too much sausage and cheese for me. Full disclosure, though - if I'm going to have the fat and calories of pizza, I want the real deal, darn it. This wasn't bad at all, just wasn't my dream meal. BUT ... my husband, who is by far the pickier eater in this relationship, said it was amazing, just like what his mom used to make. The man practically gags at the mention of cream of anything soup (he has serious issues with the texture of soups, yogurts, puddings, etc. - things I could basically live on), and he loved it.

Tim said his mom used spaghetti noodles when making her casserole, but I followed the ingredient list and went with rigatoni this time. The directions never say what to do with the browned meat and onions, but I mixed them in with the pasta as the "base layer" and followed the rest of the recipe from there. I used a 13x9 dish.

2 pounds sausage
1 box 16 ounce rigatoni pasta, cooked
1 pint pizza sauce
1 (10.75-ounce) can cream of mushroom soup
1 (12-ounce) can mushrooms
1 package pepperoni slices
1 medium onion, diced
1 (16-ounce) package mozzarella cheese

Brown sausage and onions in a skillet over medium heat. In a casserole dish, layer pasta, pizza sauce, cream of mushroom soup, and mushrooms. Top with cheese and pepperoni slices. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

Source: The Amish Cook newspaper column



Sounds like a pasta bake, but with mushroom soup (and a hellava lot of sausage). Was it the consistency of a pasta bake or soupier? Really, the soup is what I'm hung up on. LOL It's sounding like the Friends episode with Rachel's English Trifle/Shepherd's pie debacle. LOL


Haha - it is similar to a pasta bake, but I think you're right - the casserole was soupier. And I think it would have been good without the soup, but maybe that is supposed to bring some moisture/mushroom-y flavor to the dish?

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