This is pasta with a topping that’s an alternative to tomato sauce, yet brings you all the same flavors — plus a touch of grilled meat taste. It may also remind you a little of pizza; it’s got pepperoni, tomato, and cheese. Not to mention plenty of carbs to hold them up. Once again, the secret is a simple ingredient — pepperoni — with an intense taste. Of course, the fresh tomatoes help too.
That said, if you want to use canned diced tomatoes, that’s fine too — you’ll only have to heat them. If you use the seasoned kind, the dish will be even more flavorful.
You could also try cooking the fresh tomatoes in the pan with the browning pepperoni, but you’ll have to be really careful they don’t burn. These tomatoes almost need a little fat, but if you put any in with the pepperoni you’ll make that too greasy.
Another variation to try is cooking the tomatoes in a vinaigrette salad dressing; Italian or even Greek fits right in. Speaking of salad, try letting this cool and mixing in a creamy dressing for a pasta salad, which makes a good lunch to take to school or work. If you have access to a microwave, you can just take the pasta as is and heat it up — there’s no sauce to soak into the pasta as it sits waiting for lunchtime.
And there’s no need to stick to spaghetti. Any pasta will do in this recipe, but you may want to save the ridged ones for the times you have sauce.
- 1 pound spaghetti
- 1 pound unsliced pepperoni
- 2 cups grape tomatoes (about 24 to 30 tomatoes)
- Parmesan cheese
- Boil the spaghetti according to its directions.
- Meanwhile, cut the grape tomatoes in half top to bottom.
- Cut the pepperoni into quarter rounds about ¼ inch thick (they should be roughly the same size as the tomato halves).
- When the pasta has is about half cooked, heat up a dry cast iron pan to medium high.
- Carefully put in the pepperoni pieces and keep them moving with a spatula. They’ll start to glisten as their fat starts to melt, then they’ll brown slightly.
- Meanwhile, in another pan, heat a little oil and add the tomato halves.
- Keep cooking the pepperoni till it’s just toasted (five minutes or so).
- Cook the tomatoes till they’re just softened (maybe three minutes).
- When the spaghetti is done, drain it.
- Toss it with the pepperoni and tomatoes, and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.