- 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
- Black pepper
- 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
- Loaf of crusty bread
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.