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Pepperoni and Mushroom Pasta

This recipe “happened” during a weekend in May when my better half and I were foraging for mushrooms in the morel-happy hillsides of western Wisconsin. Invited to spend the night with my husband’s brother, who was staying at a condo resort nearby, we had brought along some pantry staples and a package of Organic Prairie’s pepperoni slices, with the idea of throwing something together after the hunt. Pizza or pasta sounded good to everyone, so I made both—that is, I combined pizza toppings with cooked pasta, then baked everything with cheese on top.

Just-picked gourmet mushrooms and a vacation condo setting aren’t requirements for this dish, but they sure don’t hurt it, either! Amounts are approximate; feel free to play with the recipe.

Ingredients

 
10 ounce   penne or ziti pasta
3-4 tablespoon   olive oil, divided
3/4 lb   wild or cultivated mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1/3 cup   finely chopped sweet onion (like Vidalia or Walla-Walla)
16 ounce   (1 can) pizza sauce
    dried oregano
    crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
3 ounce   (about 30 slices) Organic Prairie Uncured Pepperoni
4 ounce   (1 tub) Organic Valley Shredded Parmesan
6 ounce   (1 package) Organic Valley Italian Blend Shredded Cheese
 

1. Cook pasta in lots of boiling, salted water until barely tender. Drain, rinse with cool water, then drain again.

2. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Oil a baking dish just large enough to fit all the ingredients.

3. Heat half the olive oil in a large skillet over a fairly high flame. Add half the mushrooms and sauté them, stirring occasionally, until tender. Transfer cooked mushrooms to a large bowl. Cook the remaining mushrooms in the remaining oil, then add them to the other mushrooms.

4. To the mushrooms add the cooked pasta, chopped onions, pizza sauce, and 1/4 cup water; stir well.

5. Spread half the pasta mixture in prepared baking dish. Sprinkle lightly with oregano and even more lightly with red pepper flakes (if desired). Arrange pepperoni slices over pasta. Sprinkle on the Parmesan. Now add the rest of the pasta, a little more oregano, and a tiny more red pepper flakes, if desired. Sprinkle on the Italian Blend.

6. Bake until cheese is melted and pasta is heated through, 20–30 minutes. Serve immediately.

Copyright by Terese Allen