12 December, 2016
Maui Italian Bake
Hello friends! I know I have been quiet for a while. A really long while. (SORRY!) Things have been a bit busy/crazy/exciting lately. So before I start this next recipe (which is totally worth waiting for, I promise) let me catch you up on the last year. I have this guy I like… we’ll call him D. We started dating in 2015. We have recently moved in together (yup – cohabitating) in a new home for both of us. This new home is something I’m super-excited about because it has this kick-butt kitchen. Really. It’s an awesome kitchen! I have a convection oven, granite counters, Brazilian cherry floors and cabinets, and a gas stove. Oh yeah, totally happy girl right here! So I am cooking up a storm in this new kitchen, and that’s a good thing, because D has three girls who live with us half the time. There is a teen (J), and two tweens (S and P). And they are all picky eaters. So now I get to come up with recipes that are allergy-friendly for me, and still appealing to the girls.
So this recipe was invented by combining one of their favorite foods (Hawaiian pizza) with my allergy-friendly requirements, and morphing things a bit because gluten-free pizza crust is a pain in the patooty to make, and rarely tastes like the real thing, and then we have failed the ‘appealing to the girls’ part of the equation. 😉 So we subbed the GF pizza crust for GF pasta (we all like that, and the Barilla GF pasta is pretty darn good and tastes like the real thing enough to fool the girls).
This is one of those recipes where you can get really creative with the ingredients and just make it your own. We used the Hawaiian pizza basics: pizza sauce (there are a couple of good options out there that are sugar free), mozzarella cheese (the soy-based one for me, the real stuff for the girls), pineapple and Canadian bacon (the uncured variety so it didn’t have sugar in it). And then we added Italian sausage because D and his girls are Italian and who doesn’t love Italian sausage on pizza? And we added olives, and baby bella mushrooms.
The ingredients get mixed together, smothered in cheese, and baked. The result? “OMG, best dinner ever.” “Can we just have this every night?” I think that one is a tally mark in the winner column!
Maui Italian Bake (serves 6)
- 1 box Barilla GF Pasta (I used Penne)
- 1 jar Pizza Sauce (or you can use a can of tomato sauce, but you need to add Basil and Oregano)
- 1 lb Italian Sausage, crumbled
- 8 oz Canadian Bacon, cut into quarters
- 1 can Pineapple Chunks (drained)
- 8 oz can of Olives, sliced
- 8 oz Baby Bella mushrooms, sliced
- Mozzarella Cheese (I used the dairy-free variety)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and grease a 9×13 baking dish.
Cook the pasta according to the directions on the box. While the pasta is cooking, brown the sausage in a skillet. Drain the grease from the sausage and put into a large mixing bowl (the largest one you’ve got). Add all other ingredients except the cheese to the sausage and mix well. When the pasta is done, drain the water and add the pasta to the mixing bowl. Toss well and then pour into the prepared baking dish. Cover with the mozzarella cheese and then cover with tin foil. Bake for 40 minutes, then remove the tin foil and bake for another 5-10, until the cheese is bubbling and almost brown (this doesn’t always happen with the fake cheese, but if you are using regular mozzarella, it will brown nicely on top). Then, just like a regular pizza, chow down, but don’t burn yourself with the cheese!