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 (EVOO), 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
1 can crushed tomatoes (28 ounces)
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 EVOO, 2 turns of the pan. When the oil is hot, add the peppers, onions, garlic and mushrooms. Saute 6-8 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.