Pepperoni Macaroni and Cheese
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 pound lasagna
- Olive oil
- 4 tablespoons butter, plus 1 tablespoon
- 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
- 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 cups half-and-half
- 2 1/2 cups grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, or other good-quality Parmesan
- 4 ounces grated Cheddar
- 8 ounces grated mozzarella
- 1 pound pepperoni, sliced thin
- 1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
- Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon salt carefully add the lasagna noodles. Return to a boil, reduce the heat to a low boil and cook for about 5 minutes, or until pasta is very al dente (slightly undercooked). Drain in a colander, rinse slightly and drizzle with olive oil to prevent sticking.
- In a heavy, medium saucepan melt 4 tablespoons of the butter over low heat. Add the garlic and then the flour and stir to combine. Cook, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes. Increase the heat to medium and whisk in the half-and-half little by little. Cook until thickened, about 4 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat; add 2 cups of the grated Parmesan. Season with the salt, pepper and stir until cheese is melted and sauce is smooth. Cover and set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- In a large bowl combine 1/4 cup Parmesan, Cheddar, and mozzarella. Toss to combine.
- Grease a 3-quart baking dish or casserole with 1 tablespoon of butter. Spread a ladle full of sauce on the bottom of the pan. Cover the sauce with a single layer of cooked lasagna noodles. Spread another ladle full of sauce on top of noodles. Sprinkle with 1/3 of the mozzarella cheese mixture. Top with 1/3 of the sliced pepperoni. Repeat with remaining ingredients for 2 more layers.
- Sprinkle 1/2 cup bread crumbs onto top of lasagna and top with remaining grated Parmesan, 1/4 cup. Bake, uncovered, for 40 to 45 minutes or until the lasagna is bubbly and hot and the top is golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to sit for 5 minutes before serving.
- My changes: I used Penne instead of lasagna noodles (I'm very glad I did!). I omitted the cheddar, used half the amount of pepperoni, and used slices instead of buying a stick of pepperoni. Instead of adding 2 cups of parmesan to the sauce, I added 1 cup of a parmesan, asiago & romano blend, and 1 cup of mozzarella. Next time around I think I will make more sauce and use less pepperoni. :)
This looks like just a mess of mozzarella and pepperoni, but it is so much more. The sauce for this is amazing -- it would be wonderful just on a plain pasta dish, or used in a 5 Cheese Penne dish. It is hard to tell from my pictures, but it actually has bread crumbs on top and is baked in the oven."