Saturday, December 11, 2010

Holiday Recipe #10: Pepperoni Lasagna

As you can tell by the barrage of sugary goodness featured this week
I have something of a sweet tooth ;). But I didn't want to put any of you guys in a sugar coma, so for this events last recipe, I am gonna showcase something hearty and savory.
If Turkey is the official food of Thanksgiving, then in my house, Lasagna is the official food of Christmas (along with collard greens, and rum-glazed ham, of course). This recipe is one that just had to share because as I am typing, the image is staring daggers at me and making my mouth water! It is so good. I LOVE the addition of pepperoni and Italian sausage to a family favorite dish. The tomatoes are so yummy when they are infused with all the seasoning and juices, and did I forget to mention how the cheeses just oozes everywhere. 
Yep, you are SO hungry right now! lol. Enjoy this fab dish!
Blazy's Pepperoni Studded Lasagna
  • 2 pounds lasagna sheets
  • 2 cups hand cut 1/8-inch slices pepperoni
  • 4 cups tomato sauce, recipe follows
  • 1 pound ricotta
  • 16 ounces shredded mozzarella
  • 2 pounds bulk Italian sausage, cooked
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan   
 Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Boil 6 quarts of water, add pinch of salt, and cook pasta to almost done. Remove from water and shock in ice bath.

In medium saucepan add pepperoni and saute over medium heat until crispy. Remove from heat and drain on a paper towel.

In a 10-by-14-by-3-inch baking pan or dish, pour 1 cup of tomato sauce in bottom and around sides. Layer lasagna sheets on the bottom of the pan, overlapping by 1/2-inch. Add 1/3 amount of ricotta, 1/3 amount of mozzarella, 1/3 amount of sausage, then sprinkle generously with the Parmesan, add 1/2 cup tomato sauce, and 1/4 cup of pepperoni. Repeat this 2 more times.

On the very top sheet, top with remaining ricotta, tomato sauce, mozzarella, pepperoni, and dust with Parmesan. Bake for approximately 45 minutes. Remove from oven; let sit for 15 minutes. Cut and serve immediately.

Ingredients (Tomato Sauce):

  • 3 ounces extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, minced
  • 5 medium-sized garlic cloves, crushed
  • 6 cups skinned and diced Roma tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano leaves
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
In a medium saucepan, heat olive oil. Add onion and cook over medium to low heat until transparent. Add garlic and cook until almost brown. Then add tomatoes and cook for 1/2 hour over low to medium heat. Add the basil and oregano and continue to cook for another 1/2 hour. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper, cool and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Rita's Substitutions: I love the beef ;). This recipe doesn't have beef in it, but what's a lasagna without the cow? For those health conscious nutters, you could do Ground Turkey instead of the Ground Beef. I love alternating the two whenever I have a dish that calls for some sort of ground meat. Also, Ricotta is the lamest excuse for a filler I've ever seen. What's the point of it? Maybe it's just me, but I hate Ricotta! It doesn't add anything (at least for me) to the dish, so I would so leave it out and enjoy all the heart deliciousness sans creepy, tasteless white stuff. Also, I love adding different cheeses along with the mozzarella to give it more character. Cheddar Mild, Pepper Jack, Gouda, whatever. So Yummy!

*And check out this amazing edges-only baking pan featured as one of Oprah's favorite things! It's made so that when you bake, the entire dish comes out with just corners. Finally, no more fighting for the edges with Uncle Robert!
I would use it for Mac and Cheese, Casseroles...Lasagna ;)
You can find this recipe and tons of others on

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