This is one of those easy, economical recipes that can definitely stretch your food budget. It not only feeds a crowd, it's really delicious and if you don't have as many to feed you can freeze half of it for another meal, which is what I usually do. It is also something that I usually have all of the ingredients on hand and can go to in a pinch. I can have this on the table in under an hour of prep and cooking time if I need to. If you have kids to feed, they are going to love this one and it's so versatile, you can add other 'pizza topping' ingredients your family likes...chopped Canadian bacon, bacon, mushrooms, olives...the possibilities are endless. I feed picky eaters so I stay with ground beef and pepperoni, but don't let that limit you. Basically, here is what you will need:
1 lb to 1 1/2 lb. ground chuck (you can use ground beef, I just prefer ground chuck)
1 cup sliced pepperoni
2 jars or cans of your favorite spaghetti sauce
1 cup chopped sweet onion (I used Vidalia)
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1 Tbs. minced garlic
1 16 oz. pkg extra wide egg noodles
8 oz. Velveeta cheese, cubed
2 Tbs. butter
1 Kraft Philadelphia Cooking Creme, Italian Cheese and Herb Flavor
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 Tbs. sugar
Brown the ground chuck in a skillet and drain. Add the chopped onion, green pepper and garlic and cook just until the onion is slightly translucent.
Add the spaghetti sauce, salt, pepper, basil, oregano, and sugar. Mix together, cover and simmer while you cook your egg noodles.
Cooked the egg noodles according to the package directions minus 1 minute of cooking time. We are baking this after it is prepared so it's best to under cook the pasta a little. Drain the noodles well and then put them back in the warm pan, but don't put it back on the burner or the noodles will stick. Put the butter, Velveeta cheese, and Kraft Philadelphia cooking creme in the pan. Place the cover over the pan for a few minutes, just to allow the butter and cheese to melt a little. They don't have to melt completely. Toss the pasta gently to mix. You can use other pastas for this, penne, rigatoni, anything works, but for some reason I really like the egg noodles.
This is the Kraft Philadelphia Cooking Creme I used in this recipe. I don't use a lot of items like this, but I must admit, that I love these for various recipes. If you don't have this, you can substitute an 8oz. block of cream cheese softened and mixed with 1/4 cup half and half.
Spray a 9"x13" baking dish or two smaller casserole dishes with nonstick cooking spray. Place 1/2 of the egg noodles in bottom of the dish.
Layer 1/2 of the meat sauce, 1/2 of the pepperoni slices and sprinkle with 1/2 of the grated Parmesan cheese. Repeat all of the layers one more time and then finish the top with the cup of mozzarella cheese and the cup of cheddar cheese. Place in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30-40 minutes or until the cheese is browned on top. If you are freezing one for later, do not bake it. Leave it out to cool completely, then cover really well with a layer of plastic wrap and then a layer of foil. This will keep frozen for a couple of months. If you don't bake it before freezing, the pasta will be much better. Here is a freezing tip: Don't put anything in the freezer while it is the least bit warm.
Pizza Casserole served with a side salad, garlic bread and sweet tea and you have a complete meal!