Yield: 6 servings
* 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.