1/2 to 3/4 pound ground Italian sausage (or ground beef, turkey, etc.)
1 cup mini-pepperoni slices, or full-size that you've halved (divided)
15-ounce jar of pizza sauce
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried red pepper flakes (optional)
2 tsp minced garlic (or 2 tsp garlic powder)
8 ounces short pasta, like penne or rotini
2 cups water
1 cup Mozzarella cheese, shredded
Salt and pepper, to taste
In a 10-inch skillet or Dutch oven, heat a tablespoon or olive oil over medium heat. Add sausage, breaking up as it browns.
When completely browned, add 2/3 cup of pepperoni slices, and garlic. Stir until everything is warmed.
Add pizza sauce, oregano, red pepper flakes, and pasta. Stir together, then add 2 cups water.
Stirring almost constantly, bring to a boil, and simmer for about 13 minutes. Add more water 1/2 cup at a time if pan gets too dry during this process.
Remove from burner, and top with the mozzarella and remaining 1/3 cup of pepperoni slices.
Place under a heated broiler until cheese is melted and beginning to brown gently. (Don't walk away!)
Remove from broiler, and serve from skillet into bowls. Makes 4 generous servings.