Pepperoni mac n cheese from Jam Hands was a bit of a roller coaster ride. Of course Blockette was excited that we were going to have macaroni and cheese AND pepperoni. Oh she was so super jazzed. At least until she realized that the macaroni was NOT the day-glow orange stuff in the blue box, and the pepperoni was NOT the exact same as the stuff that is on her favorite brand of pizza. How could a mother be so cruel?
Mrblocko ate dinner at work the night I made this dish, so he didn't have any until the next day. After eating his portion, he told me he was surprised the meal didn't have any red sauce. In fact he seemed quite disappointed it didn't have red sauce. Why he was surprised, I don't know. I mean I only showed him the recipe a minimum of two times before I made it. I reminded him that macaroni and cheese doesn't usually contain red sauce. I also stated the recipe was called Pepperoni Mac n cheese, not Pizza mac n cheese.
I quartered my pepperoni so it would be a bit easier to eat, since the slices were on the large size. The mini pepperonies (or is pepperoni plural?) would have been the perfect size. Originally, I had thought about only using half a pound of pepperoni in the recipe. I actually had a "discussion" about this with Mrblocko. In the end, I agreed to using the full amount of meat stated in the recipe. I was glad that I did, even though it made the dish on the greasy side. I wonder if turkey pepperoni would help eliminate this problem.
Next time I make this dish I will just use mozzarella and cheddar in the dish, and sprinkle some Parmesan on top. I couldn't taste any of the Parmesan in the body of the dish, which seems like a waste of a more expensive cheese. Next time I'll also make half a recipe as this, and a side salad, fed us for nearly 4 meals! It's great that the meal fed us for so long, but after the third time around, we get sick of the leftovers, even if we eat them every other day.
Pepperoni Macaroni and Cheese from Jam Hands Makes 8 servings
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 pound lasagna
4 tablespoons butter, plus 1 tablespoon
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups half-and-half
2 1/2 cups grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, or other good-quality Parmesan
4 ounces grated Cheddar
8 ounces grated mozzarella
1 pound pepperoni, sliced thin
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add 1 Tsalt carefully add lasagna noodles. Return to a boil, reduce heat to a low boil and cook for 5 min, otil pasta al dente. Drain in a colander, rinse slightly and drizzle with olive oil to prevent sticking.In a heavy, medium saucepan melt 4 T butter over low heat. Add garlic then flour and stir to combine. Cook, stirring constantly, for 3 min. Increase the heat to medium and whisk in half-and-half little by little. Cook til thickened, 4-5 min, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; add 2 c grated Parmesan. Season with salt, pepper and stir til cheese melted and sauce is smooth. Cover and set aside. Preheat the oven to 375 F. In a large bowl combine 1/4 c Parmesan, Cheddar, and mozzarella. Toss to combine. Grease a 3-quart baking dish or casserole with 1 T butter. Spread a ladle full of sauce on bottom of pan. Cover sauce with a single layer of cooked lasagna noodles. Spread another ladle full of sauce on top of noodles. Sprinkle with 1/3 mozzarella cheese mix. Top with 1/3 sliced pepperoni. Repeat with remaining ingredients for 2 more layers. Sprinkle 1/2 c bread crumbs onto top of lasagna and top with remaining grated Parmesan, 1/4 c. Bake, uncovered, 40-45 min til lasagna bubbly and hot and top golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to sit 5 min before serving.