If you’re a pizza lover looking for a unique twist on your favorite dish, you’re in for a treat. Mama’s Pizza Casserole is here to tantalize your taste buds and satisfy your pizza cravings in a whole new way. This delightful casserole combines the flavors of a classic pizza with the convenience of a casserole dish, making it the perfect comfort food for any occasion.
Ingredients You’ll Need
Before we dive into the step-by-step guide, let’s gather the essential ingredients for this mouthwatering Mama’s Pizza Casserole:
- 1 pound of ground Italian sausage
- 1 pound of ground beef
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 can (15 ounces) of tomato sauce
- 1 can (15 ounces) of diced tomatoes, drained
- 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon of dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes (adjust to your spice preference)
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- 2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 cups of rigatoni pasta, cooked and drained
- Fresh basil leaves for garnish
Now that we have our ingredients ready, let’s proceed with making this delectable Mama’s Pizza Casserole:
1. Preheat Your Oven
Begin by preheating your oven to 350°F (175°C). This will ensure that your casserole bakes to perfection.
2. Cook the Meat
In a large skillet, cook the Italian sausage and ground beef over medium-high heat until they are browned and crumbled. Make sure to break them into smaller pieces as they cook.
3. Add Veggies and Aromatics
Stir in the diced onion, green bell pepper, and minced garlic. Cook for a few minutes until the vegetables are tender and aromatic.
4. Season It Up
Add the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, dried oregano, dried basil, red pepper flakes, salt, and black pepper to the skillet. Mix everything thoroughly and let it simmer for about 10 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together.
5. Layer It Up
In a large baking dish, spread half of the cooked rigatoni pasta evenly on the bottom. Top it with half of the meat and sauce mixture, followed by half of the mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.
Repeat the layers with the remaining pasta, meat and sauce mixture, and cheeses. Make sure the top layer is generously covered with cheese for that irresistible golden crust.
6. Bake to Perfection
Place the casserole in the preheated oven and bake for about 25-30 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and golden brown.
7. Garnish and Serve
Once out of the oven, garnish your Mama’s Pizza Casserole with fresh basil leaves for a burst of color and flavor. Let it cool slightly before serving.
Enjoy Your Mama’s Pizza Casserole!
There you have it – a mouthwatering Mama’s Pizza Casserole that will surely become a family favorite. With its irresistible combination of flavors and ease of preparation, this dish is perfect for busy weeknights or special gatherings. Serve it with a crisp garden salad or some garlic bread for a complete and satisfying meal.
Give this recipe a try, and you’ll understand why Mama’s Pizza Casserole has won the hearts of pizza enthusiasts everywhere. Enjoy your delicious homemade pizza casserole, and share the love with family and friends!