Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add salt and spaghetti and stir to combine. Return to a boil, reduce heat to a low boil and cook until al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain spaghetti in colander. Return to the pot and toss with 2 teaspoons olive oil and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease a 2-quart casserole dish with the remaining olive oil and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl combine the spaghetti, pasta sauce, bell pepper, garlic, Essence, Italian seasoning, crushed red pepper, and mozzarella and toss to mix well. If desired, also add chopped black olives and mushrooms, and mix to combine.
In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and milk. Transfer the spaghetti mixture to the prepared dish and pour the egg mixture over the top. Arrange the sliced pepperoni in an even layer over the top, and sprinkle with Parmesan.
Bake until bubbly and golden brown on top, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.
Basic Red Sauce:
In a medium, heavy pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, salt, basil, oregano and black pepper, and cook, stirring, until soft, 5 minutes.
Place the tomatoes in a large bowl and squeeze to break into small pieces. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, water, and sugar to the pot and stir well. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.
Lower the heat to medium-low, and simmer uncovered for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally with a heavy wooden spoon.
Essence (Emeril's Creole Seasoning):
Yield:about 2/3 cup
Combine all ingredients thoroughly and store in an airtight jar or container.
Recipe from "New New Orleans Cooking", by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch. Published by William and Morrow, 1993.
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Recipe from Emeril Lagasse
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