Pizza Pasta!

Hey Guys! Stephanie here with another Monday Meals!
On the Menu tonight… Pizza Pasta!
DSC04831If I had to choose one type of food to live on for the rest of my life, my choice would be pasta. It never gets old for me. Different noodles, sauces, veggies, meats, the options are endless! I don’t even get tired of eating the same classic spaghetti in tomato sauce several days in a row; but my husband does. He’s easily bored with pasta and it’s a challenge to mix it up enough to keep him interested.

One day I as trying to decide what to make for dinner and I was craving pasta but I knew I had to create something unique if I wanted it to be a hit with Denver. So I thought to myself “Pasta is my go to, never gets old, staple, what is Denver’s?” The answer, Pizza. He can eat pizza every meal for a week and still be happy about it! This got the wheels turning in my brain…. Pizza… Pasta… Pizza… Pasta… Hmmm…

This cheesy combination of two classic favorites was a huge hit and I know if you try it and add in your favorite toppings it will become a staple for your family too!

What you will need: (everything listed after cheese can be changed based on your pizza topping preferences)

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3 Cups Pasta (Any Style)
3/4-1 Cup Butter
3/4-1 Cup Flour
2 Cups Milk
1 Cup Tomato Sauce
4 Cups Cheese
24 Slices of Pepperoni (cut into bite sized pieces)
3/4 Cup Diced Black Olives
1 tsp Oregano
1 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
Salt & Pepper (to taste)
Topping:
Diced Tomatoes
Diced Fresh Basil

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Cook and drain your pasta. Set aside in a large pot with about 1/2 inch of room temp water to prevent drying out. Stir pasta every once in a while.
  3. Dice the pizza toppings and set aside. (wine for drinking is optional ;P)
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4. In a good sized sauce pan melt your butter over medium heat, stir constantly until bubbling.

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5. Add flour while continuing to stir. You can add more or less butter and flour depending on how much sauce you are trying to make but remember you need equal parts butter to flour so if you adjust, adjust both.
DSC047896. Add milk to the butter and flour mixture and stir rapidly until well blended with no lumps. If you adjusted the butter/flour quantity you will need to adjust the milk to be double the amount of flour. In other words: 1 part butter, 1 part flour, 2 parts milk.
DSC047937. Bring the milk to a boil, stir constantly to avoid scorching. Once the milk is boiling, add the cheese (cheese amount can vary to taste). Stir constantly until cheese is fully melted and well blended.
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8. Once cheese is melted and the sauce begins to thicken add oregano, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.
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9. Add tomato sauce and mix well until sauce thickens again. remove from heat.
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10. Drain and rinse cooked pasta and return to the pot. Add the sauce and stir until pasta is well coated. Add in olives and pepperoni (or whatever toppings you choose) and mix well.
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11. Transfer to a lightly greased casserole dish. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until warmed through. Once baked, top with Tomatoes and basil (or whatever toppings you choose).
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Add a side of bread for “crust” and its the best of both worlds! One of the best parts about this dish are the endless possibilities! Anything can can be a pizza can be pizza pasta! Think about it, you can include sausage, mushrooms, onions, anchovies, chicken, bacon, BBQ sauce, ect… Make your own creation and let me know how it turns out!

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