Bacon Pizza Pasta
This one-pot pasta tastes just like pizza minus the work. It comes together in moments and feeds a crowd. Rely on this to feed starving teenagers!
½ lb. sliced bacon
1 onion, peeled and very finely chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled and pressed or finely minced
1 can (6 ozs.) tomato paste
1 c. pizza sauce
4 c. beef broth
1 c. water
2 t. Italian seasonings
¼ t. dried oregano
1 t. salt
1 t. onion powder (preferably granulated onion)
¾ t. garlic powder (preferably granulated garlic)
⅛ to ½ t. crushed red pepper flakes (or more, to taste depending on heat tolerance and preference)
1 lb. dry small shell, rotini or elbow pasta
2 c. grated mozzarella cheese
15 slices of pepperoni, cut into quarters
Stack the bacon strips and cut down through the stack at ¼-inch intervals. When done, you should have a pile of thin bacon strips. Put these into a large stockpot over medium-low heat, stirring frequently.
Add the onion and minced or pressed garlic when the bacon is about halfway cooked. Continue frying the bacon, onions and garlic until the bacon is crispy. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the crispy bacon with the onions and garlic to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain. Pour the remaining bacon grease out of the pan (and hopefully into a jar to use in tasty things later).
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the garlic, tomato paste, pizza sauce, beef broth, water, Italian seasonings, oregano, salt and onion and garlic powders. Pour this into the pan from which you drained the bacon grease.
Stir well, raise the heat to high and bring the mixture to a boil. When it is boiling, gently stir in the dry pasta, add a lid to the pan and drop the heat to low. Cook for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring every couple of minutes to prevent the pasta from sticking.
When the pasta is tender, turn off the heat, add all of the grated cheese, the crispy bacon and the chopped pepperoni and stir gently until the cheese is melted in completely and everything is evenly distributed. Serve hot with additional grated cheese if desired.