This recipe really does taste like a pizza, just with pasta instead of crust. What’s great about this dish is that you can customize it to your family’s taste / whatever ingredients you have available; the broccoli, mushrooms, and olives can be subbed out for spinach, bell peppers, onions, or whatever vegetables you prefer. If you skip the pepperoni to make this vegetarian, I recommend adding a Tbsp of dried oregano when you add your veggies. If you like things spicy, add a tsp of crushed red pepper.
Yields: 4-6 servings; Prep Time: 20 minutes; Cook Time: 25 minutes
- 6 oz short-cut pasta
- 4 cups chopped, cooked broccoli
- 1 cup sliced, canned mushrooms
- 1/2 cup sliced black olives
- 25 slices turkey pepperoni, sliced in half
- 2 Tbsp salted butter, chopped into smaller pieces
- 2 heaping Tbsp flour
- 1 3/4 cups skim milk
- 5 oz reduced-fat mozzarella, shredded
- 5 oz sharp cheddar, shredded
- 1 cup marinara sauce
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Farenheit. Prepare an 8×8 inch casserole dish with baking spray. Mix the mozzarella and cheddar together and put aside 1 large handful (2 oz).
- Cook pasta al dente according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
- Melt butter in a medium-sized saucepan (large enough for all of your ingredients) over medium-high heat. Whisk flour into melted butter to form a roux. Cook 60 – 90 seconds, whisking constantly, until roux has darkened to a sandy tan color. Whisk milk into roux and cook 1 – 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it has thickened. You shouldn’t have any lumps, but if you do now is the time to whisk them out.
- Reduce heat to low and add 8 oz of cheese to the sauce, working in 3 small batches and stirring until the cheese has fully melted.
- Remove pan from heat and stir in cooked pasta, vegetables, and pepperoni. Pour mixture into your prepared casserole dish.
- Top the casserole with an even mixture of marinara sauce, followed by the remaining 2 oz of cheese.
- Bake for 25 minutes, until the cheese has browned.