Spicy-Sweet Pepperoni Lasagna

Spicy-Sweet Pepperoni Lasagna 2 | windykitchen

We’re going on about a year and a half of marriage now, and so far I have few complaints. My husband is a great guy for many reasons, but he’s also a very easy-going guy, which has proved quite crucial in the success of our young marriage. I really think there needs to be at least one easy-going person in a relationship, and it sure isn’t me.

When we first got married and moved in together, I tried to mentally prepare myself for all the bad things involved in living with a man. I contemplated bathroom and remote-control sharing, increased laundry, and the need to purchase groceries I myself would never eat (why does an adult man with a 401(k) still eat Cap’n Crunch???). I think all the mental preparing was helpful, because the reality of cohabitating ended up being a lot better than I expected. The only curveball that I definitely didn’t see coming is the fact that, from time to time, I have to watch grown men play poker on television.

In my haste to prepare for all the bad parts of marriage, I didn’t prepare at all for all the great things about marriage! And not the being-in-love/close-personal-connection/blah-blah-blah stuff, I’m talking about the fact that I don’t have to do taxes anymore! How amazing is that?! I just handed him my W2 and forgot all about it. And even better — somehow the clocks are all magically changed after Daylight Savings Time! This is so much more convenient than my prior practice of spending the six weeks following DST doing elementary-level math whenever I looked at a clock.

Making this lasagna introduced yet another benefit to marriage — my husband is easily ten times faster at grating mozzarella cheese than I am. Apparently all that increased upper body strength men have is useful in the kitchen, too!

Spicy-Sweet Pepperoni Lasagna 1 | windykitchen

SPICY-SWEET PEPPERONI LASAGNA (windykitchen original, sauce inspired by All Recipes)

9 lasagna noodles
1 tbsp olive oil
18 oz tomato paste (3 6-oz cans)
18 oz warm water
2/3 cup grated parmesan cheese, divided
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup honey
1 tbsp anchovy paste (optional)
2 and 1/2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried marjoram
2 tsp dried basil, divided
3/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes, or more to taste
Pinch of sugar (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 pound lean ground beef
1 pound Italian sausage (hot or mild, depending on preference)
1 5-oz package pepperoni, roughly chopped
1 15-oz container ricotta cheese
3 eggs, beaten
1 pound mozzarella cheese, shredded

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Bring large pot of salted water to a boil. Add lasagna noodles and olive oil and cook until al dente, 8-9 minutes. Drain.
  2. To make sauce: in medium bowl, mix tomato paste, water, 1/3 cup parmesan cheese, garlic, honey, anchovy paste (if using), onion powder, oregano, marjoram, 1 tsp basil, cayenne pepper, sugar (if using) and crushed red pepper flakes. Salt and pepper to taste. If omitting anchovy paste, use slightly more salt.
  3. Brown beef and sausage in large pot over medium heat; drain. Return to pot and add pepperoni and tomato sauce. Simmer over low heat while preparing remaining ingredients.
  4. While sauce simmers, combine beaten eggs, ricotta cheese, remaining 1/3 cup paremsan cheese, and remaining 1 tsp basil in medium bowl.
  5. To assemble lasagna, spread very thin layer of meat sauce over bottom of 9×13 glass baking dish (just enough to barely coat the bottom of the pan). Top with three lasagna noodles. Spread about 1/3 of the ricotta cheese mixture over the noodles, then top with 1/4 of the mozzarella cheese. Carefully spread 1/3 of meat sauce over mozzarella cheese. Repeat with two more layers of noodles-ricotta-mozzarella-meat sauce, then sprinkle top of lasagna with remaining mozzarella cheese. At this point I top with some more crushed red pepper flakes, because that’s just how I roll.
  6. Cover casserole dish with foil and bake 45-50 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 15 minutes, until cheese is bubbly and melted. Let sit 10 minutes before serving.

Um. This is pretty insanely good. I have to watch myself around this stuff, as I’ve been known to eat the leftovers by the forkful straight out of the fridge.

Spicy-Sweet Pepperoni Lasagna 3 | windykitchen


14 thoughts on “Spicy-Sweet Pepperoni Lasagna

    • Apparently it’s good stuff! I never really ate cereal growing up — maybe it’s something you have to enjoy as a kid to really get later in life? I did go through a brief Lucky Charms phase in college, though. And by Lucky Charms I mean “Marshmallow Mateys” because Lucky Charms are wayyyy too expensive for a poor college student.

  1. Well well well… tell me about it. We have Cini Minis and cocoa puffs and all that, and he is insanely good at grating cabbage for our beloved cabbage pasta. That lasagna btw, amazing!

  2. That looks amazeballs! Can you believe my Italian husband isn’t much of a fan of it? And I LOVE Sofie beer – too bad it costs $8 a bottle! Happy Weekend!

  3. I agree with soooo much of this post. Except change Cap’n Crunch to Fruity Pebbles. This lasagna sounds delicious! One of the things my husband has converted me to is pepperoni. I never really cooked with it before our marriage but that stuff is tasty! πŸ™‚

    • Sounds like everyone’s husband has a special cereal that can’t be parted with! I remember loving Fruity Pebbles commercials growing up, I wonder why I never much liked actual Fruity Pebbles…

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