Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Pepperoni Lasagna

In my perpetual quest to become a better cook, I undertook one of my more ambitious projects last week:  the Pepperoni Lasagna!  I had never made a lasagna before, so I was a bit nervous about how all of this would turn out.  I borrowed the basic recipe from The Food Network--Blazy's Pepperoni Studded Lasagna, to be precise.

First step was to go to the store to get the ingredients:
  • 2 pounds lasagna sheets
  • 2 cups hand cut 1/8-inch slices pepperoni
  • 4 cups tomato sauce
  • 1 pound ricotta
  • 16 ounces shredded mozzarella
  • 2 pounds bulk Italian sausage, cooked
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan
I tweaked this list a bit to make the whole process a bit less complicated.  I got two packs of pre-sliced pepperoni and two jars of Spaghetti sauce (Three Cheese) instead of Blazy's tomato sauce.

First step was to boil the water to cook the noodles.  I always add just a pinch of salt to the water to help it boil and it was a good thing I did!  I had chosen my largest pot, and even with the salt it took the better part of half an hour to boil.  Once the fire was lit under the pot, I started the oven preheating at 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

While waiting on the water, I went ahead and started browning the Italian sausage.  Once it was cooked, I turned the burner way down and waited for the water to boil.  Once it did, I put in the lasagna noodles and stirred them as the cooked.

I did NOT shock them in an ice bath as the recipe recommends...that seemed like too much work to me!  I also did NOT brown the pepperoni...again, too much work!

As the noodles finished cooking, I put the Italian sausage into a bowl lined with paper towels (to absorb the fat).  I then took the noodle pot of the fire and laid the noodles out one at a time on some more paper towels to dry them a bit (I would be LOST without paper towels while I'm cooking!).

Next I took my pan, the foil kind that you can put in the oven, and spread enough Spaghetti sauce to cover the bottom.

Then I layered some lasagna noodles, overlapping them about half an inch.  Once they covered the bottom, I put a third of the ricotta on top, along with a third of the sausage and mozzarella.  I then sprinkled a generous amount of Parmesan on top of that.  Next was another generous layer of Spaghetti sauce, followed by a layer of pepperoni arranged so that they touched on the edges and covered the sauce.  I forgot to take a picture at each stage of the process, so here's a shot of a "finished product" piece to show all the layers!

And then I started all over!  Of course, this was where I made my first mistake--I did a double layer of noodles.  Once I got back up to the pepperoni level, I covered the whole thing with more noodles.  Next I used the rest of the Spaghetti sauce (plus a half jar of Chunky Garden AND a jar of Hunt's tomato sauce--next time I'll buy 3 jars!) to completely cover the top noodle layer.  I wanted to be SURE they didn't dry out!  I plopped some ricotta on top, along with a lot of mozzarella and a sprinkling of Parmesan.

At this point the oven was more than ready, so I stuck the lasagna in for 50 minutes.  After it was done, I took it out to cool for 15 minutes, and promptly put in the garlic bread.  At about the 10 minute point I also put the SteamFresh frozen green beans that my wonderful husband stopped to pick up on the way home in the microwave.

The lasagna had cooled sufficiently right as the bread came out of the oven, just has the green beans had finished cooking and cooling.  Bryan and I sat down with our wine (with Sprite Zero!) and enjoyed a wonderful dinner!

Bryan had two big helpings, and the boys at Mark's bachelor party ate almost all of it!  I'd consider that a successful first lasagna ever!


  1. Looks yummy!

    I'm going to have to try it! :)

  2. that looks super tasty! i'm going to give it a shot.. what could be better than cheese, pepperoni, and noodles?

  3. Thanks! I was just glad I didn't burn it! And the hubby is already asking for another one, so I'd call that complete success!

    And cheese, pepperoni and noodles are definitely some of the best foods around! And they compliment each other so well ;-)!


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