Pasta with a simple tomato sauce is one of the all time great flavor combos, but there’s more than one way to make a tomato sauce. Here’s a quick way to toss a few flavors together, let the oven do the work and wind up with pasta that tastes like pizza!
1/2 box penne pasta
1 pound spicy pepperoni, chopped in 1 inch pieces
4 pints (or so) Cherry Tomatoes
2 large onions cut in 8
1 head garlic cloves, peeled and halved
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons or so dried oregano
4 ounces cream cheese
1-2 sprinkles salt and lots of freshly ground pepper
3 cups or so mozzarella cheese, shredded
Preheat your oven to 400 °F (200 °C).Toss pepperoni, tomatoes, onions, garlic, oregano and olive oil in a large bowl. Turn into a 9- X 13-inch (3.5L) ovenproof casserole or baking dish. After 30 minutes or so stir the works once or twice then keep an eye on things. Bake until the tomatoes soften and the pepperoni and onion lightly brown, about 1 hour. Remove from the oven and set to broil.
Meanwhile cook your pasta in lots of boiling salted water. Drain it well but do not rinse or you’ll drain away the surface starch that helps the sauce cling to it. When the roast tomato sauce has finished cooking toss it with the pasta and stir in the cream cheese. Top with the mozzarella. Broil until the cheese is golden brown and bubbly, about 5 minutes or so. Your hearty pizza pasta is ready! Call in the gang, serve and share.
Chef Michael’s Kitchen
© Chef Michael Smith
Freestyle Twist: It’s as easy to twist this recipe as it is to top a pizza to suit your crowd. Any tomato variety will work and feel free to toss in some black olives, artichoke hearts or assorted mushrooms.
A good fish stew has three basic parts: the flavour base, the broth and the fish. Each is easy to master. This particular version highlights many of the bright flavours of the Mediterranean. Some would call it a bouillabaisse but I don’t because that makes it sound intimidating, fancy and difficult. It also inspires too many conversations about authenticity. Remember its just fish stew!
Is your family in the sandwich business? A soft tortilla wrap is just as easy a sandwich start as a slice of bread and a great way to pack a lunchbox. If you want to make it even easier, let your grocer do the heavy lifting and just toss a rotisserie chicken into your cart!