This is another Rachel Ray recipe (man I really do cook a ton of her stuff!) that is easy to make and really quite tasty. Mike and I don’t eat it that often though as it’s not the most healthy thing in the world, though if you use fat free ricotta I guess it would help! Either way, its a great dish when you want a nice warm dish of cheesiness!
1 pound pasta curls (recommended: campagnelle by Barilla; short fusilli or cavatappi twists may be substituted)
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, a couple of handfuls
Handful parsley, finely chopped
1/2 cup sliced pepperoni, cut into thin strips
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan
1 green or red bell pepper, seeded, quartered and thinly sliced
1 onion, quartered then thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, sliced
12 crimini mushrooms (baby portabellos), thinly sliced (I never add these, mike hates mushrooms)
1 (28-ounces) can crushed tomatoes
3/4 pound fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Bring a pot of water to a boil, add pasta and salt the water.
While the water boils combine ricotta, Parmigiano, parsley and pepperoni in a large bowl and reserve.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat with extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan. When the oil is hot, add the peppers, onions, garlic and mushrooms. Saute 6 to 8 minutes until tender and mushrooms are dark. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper. Stir in tomatoes and reduce heat to low.
Add a ladle of starchy cooking water to the ricotta just before you drain the pasta. Drain pasta then toss with ricotta and pepperoni mixture. Pour pasta into a baking dish and top evenly with peppers, onion and mushroom sauce. Top with a layer of mozzarella, oregano and red pepper flakes. Place under hot broiler and melt cheese until golden and bubbly. Remove and serve with crusty bread.