Pizza and pasta join forces for a pizza stuffed shell casserole

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America's favorite Italian specialties meet up in this casserole, where jumbo pasta shells are stuffed with a savory pizza sauce and lots of gooey mozzarella cheese and topped with pepperoni and sausage for loads of flavor. The recipe below also has the benefit of being easy enough to make any day of the week.
Start things off by making the zesty tomato sauce with tomatoes, dried herbs, and a nice dose of garlic. This sauce, alongside some delicious Italian sausage and ricotta cheese, is stuffed into pasta shells. A mozzarella and pepperoni topping makes the casserole look just like a pizza. Dinner is served!
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Cooktop Cove
Pizza stuffed shells casserole
8
15 minutes
40 minutes
55 minutes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 pound Italian sausage (mild or spicy), removed from casing
1 onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 pinch crushed red pepper
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 32-ounce can whole, peeled tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 12-ounce package jumbo pasta shells
1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
20 rounds pepperoni
salt
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Heat the olive oil in a skillet over high heat. Add the sausage and brown on all sides, and then remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Pour off all but two tablespoons of the fat, and reduce the heat to medium.
Add the onion and a pinch of salt, and sauté until tender and slightly browned, about 5-6 minutes. Add the garlic, red pepper, and tomato paste, and cook until just fragrant. Add the tomatoes and stir to combine.
Add the oregano and bring to a simmer. Simmer for about 10 minutes, until all of the ingredients are well combined. Use an immersion blender to purée the sauce until smooth. Set aside.
Cook the pasta shells according to package instructions, draining when just slightly al dente (about 1 minute less than indicated on-package).
In a small bowl, stir together the ricotta and the eggs.
Pour a few spoonfuls of tomato sauce into the bottom of a 9x13 casserole dish. Stuff each shell with a heaping tablespoonful of ricotta and an even amount of sausage. Arrange them in the casserole dish.
Cover the stuffed shells liberally with the tomato sauce.
Spread the mozzarella evenly over the top of the shells, then lay out the pepperoni slices.
Bake for about 20 minutes, or until bubbly and brown.
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