When I was in college, one of my roommates introduced me to the glory that is a “Pepperoni Pasta Bake”.
We were always on a quest to figure out how to make meals that could feed 4 for less than $10. And I have to say, we were pretty inventive! But more often than not, our meals revolved around pasta, and this simple dish was our favorite.
It’s all of the goodness of pepperoni “pizza” flavors, wrapped into a delicious and uber-simple pasta bake. We would always just use pasta, pepperoni, Mozzarella cheese and marinara sauce, which was a fabulous start. But there are endless variations. For a “lighter” version, you could of course sub in some turkey pepperoni, whole wheat pasta and part-skim Mozzarella. Or for a more well-balanced version, you could easily throw in lots of your favorite veggies (I like using mushrooms, green peppers, onions, and broccoli). But when I am occasionally craving a more purist version of the college classic, I at minimum add in some sauteed garlic, onions and some extra seasonings to kick things up a tiny notch, but to still stay true to our memories.
However you make it, this classic can still be made for under $10, and I guarantee that it will be a crowd-pleaser. :)
I thought it was only appropriate to kick off October with another pumpkin recipe! But instead of sweets, this time it’s pumpkin-meets-savory-comfort-food with this Pumpkin Macaroni & Cheese!
I was going back and forth today, though, about whether to just make the macaroni plain on the stovetop or bake it up with some extra breadcrumbs. So I turned to my favorite research lab – Instagram. And you all are awesome! Within minutes, I had a long list of your heartfelt convictions about mac and cheese. Breadcrumbs or no breadcrumbs. Baked or stovetop.
While I admittedly tend towards being a mac and cheese purist, and like it just served straight from the stovetop, the overwhelming majority of responses voted to have this baked with breadcrumbs. So your wish is my command! And to be honest, I think you may be onto something here. This recipe turned out to be absolutely delicious! Loved the creamy, smoky cheddar pumpkin sauce. And then once it was baked to bubbly perfection, those toasted breadcrumbs definitely did give it an extra comfort-food-y kick. So good!
(Although for you purists, I should note that you could easily serve this recipe as stovetop macaroni. I did a little taste-test before popping this in the oven, and pretty much had to will myself to let the dish disappear into the oven for another half hour!)
However you make it, I’m pretty sure you’re going to love this one. Enjoy!!
You all know my obsession with chicken enchiladas.
And from your emails, I know that many of you seem to have obsessions with cornbread.