Monday, November 7, 2011

Pepperoni Pizza.....Pasta?

My family loves pizza, but let's face it, gluten free pizza can be spendy.  If you buy it already made from a pizza parlor it can cost you a fortune.  Frozen, pre-made crusts, at $7.00  for two small crusts won't cut it either.  I have also tried a few mixes.  Some give you a spongy crust, others are difficult and time consuming to make.  My favorite, at this point in time, is Gluten Free Mama's Pizza Crust.  The cheapest I have found it is through Amazon's Subscribe and Save for $4.60 a bag.  It makes two nice crusts and the taste and texture is great.  I have not tried making a crust using other flours from scratch, but that may be an experiment on the horizon.

In the meantime, what if you want that pizza taste, but it just isn't in the budget and you don't have time, the ingredients, or the inclination to make it.  Here is a fun and delicious substitute that my family continually requests.

Pepperoni Pizza Pasta:

1 package of penne pasta cooked and drained (do not rinse, the sauce sticks better to pasta if you don't rinse it.)

2 onions chopped
2 cloves of garlic minced (you can use fresh or bottled)
1 T olive oil
1 can olives
2 can of mushrooms
1 T Italian Seasonings (more or less to taste)
1 tsp Garlic Salt (more or less to taste)
1/2 tsp Garlic Pepper

1 large can of tomato sauce
1 small can of tomato sauce
1 tsp honey
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cider vinegar
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp Italian Seasonings

4 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese

Sliced Pepperoni

Saute onions and garlic with olive oil over medium heat until translucent.  Add mushrooms.  Using whole olives, break them over the pan and add them to the mix.  The juice from the olives adds flavor.  Season with your Italian seasonings, garlic salt and garlic pepper.

For your sauce:
Pour your cans of tomato sauce into a bowl.  Add honey, cider vinegar, and Italian seasonings and mix thoroughly.  Add the sugar and salt a little at a time, stirring and tasting.  You may prefer more or less than I have indicated.

Now it is time to assemble:

Place a few spoonfuls of the sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking pan.

Add half of your pasta and spread it evenly on the bottom of the pan.

Add 1/2 of your onion, mushroom, and olive mixture.  Spread evenly.

Top with 1/2 of the remaining sauce.

Add a single layer of pepperoni slices.

Add 1/2 the shredded cheese.

Repeat the process starting with the pasta.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

This dish is great served with a side salad.  It makes twelve servings and costs approximately $9.00.  You can make this using your favorite variations.  Try adding sliced peppers to the onion mix or make it with sausage instead of pepperoni.  The results are yummy!

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