First I will show how I make my homemade pizza sauce. Super easy...no cooking! Just mix and go :)
1 15 oz can Tomato Sauce
1 8 oz can Tomato Paste
1 TBS Oregano
1 TBS Garlic, minced (remember I love garlic so cut this down if you aren't a fan)
1 tsp Paprika
1/2 tsp Basil
1/2 tsp Onion Powder
1 pinch Red Pepper Flakes
- Just mix everything together and store in the fridge or freeze
I made the pizza sauce ahead of time so the flavors could blend together better.
Now onto the really fun stuff!
Pizza Pasta Bake
1 lb Rotini, cooked and drained
1/2 15 oz container of Ricotta Cheese (about 8 oz or 1 cup)
- Combine pasta and ricotta until smooth and creamy then place in a 9x13 baking dish
3 cups Pizza Sauce
- Top noodle mixture evenly with pizza sauce
1 lb Italian Sausage, cooked and crumbled
Pepperoni (about 1/2 an 8 oz package) *tip* to cut down on grease place pepperoni on a paper towel lined plate and heat for about 20-30 seconds. Blot with more paper towels and that will really cut down on the grease!
1/2 Green Pepper, Diced
1/2 Red Onion, Diced
1 can Sliced Black Olives, drained
and any other toppings you desire :)
16 oz Shredded Mozzarella Cheese (We love cheese too!)
- Layer toppings on top of sauce and then top with shredded mozzarella cheese
At this point you can either freeze it for later use, place in the fridge until ready to bake, or bake in a preheated 350 degree oven until cheese is melted. About 30 minutes.
If you decide to freeze then thaw in the refrigerator overnight before baking. I always pull my dish out of the fridge while my oven is preheating just to bring the pan closer to room temp. Not sure if it makes a difference, but it makes me feel better.
It's not the most gorgeous or sexy dish, but let me tell you it tastes FANTASTIC! It tastes just like pizza and the homemade sauce is perfect! Definitely a keeper :) The best part is you can adjust the toppings to however you like. Maybe one day I will try a Hawaiian style (my daughters favorite!) with ham, pineapple, red onion, and bacon. Mix it up! Add your favorite toppings and most importantly have fun!