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Pepperoni Pizza Dip

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This Sunday is the final set of Playoff games before the Super Bowl on February 2nd, so it’s time to gear up with ultimate Game Day foods.

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This pepperoni pizza dip will bring a slow and wicked smile to those who have been watching their calorie intake since the first of the year. It is positively sinful…but in a good way. Try it and you’ll agree.

This dip can be made without pepperoni, using browned and crumbled Italian sausage in its place, or it can be made meatless, using a mixture of sautéed vegetables such as mushrooms, peppers, and olives. If the tasty cheese base inspires you, add in some fontina or an Italian mix of cheeses, and enjoy.

Don’t be surprised if your guests like this dip so much, you’ll be making it again on Super Bowl Sunday.

Pepperoni Pizza Dip
• 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
• 2/3 cup ricotta cheese
• 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus ¼ cup for garnish
• 1 egg, at room temperature
• 1 clove garlic, minced
• ½ teaspoon dried oregano
• Salt and pepper
• 4 ounces pepperoni, diced
• 1½ - 2 cups prepared pizza sauce, such as Muir Glen
• 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
• 1 fresh loaf Italian bread, sliced ½-inch thick, for serving

Preheat oven to 350⁰.

In a large bowl, mix together the cream cheese, ricotta cheese, ¾ cups Parmesan cheese, and the egg until combined. Add the garlic, oregano, and salt and pepper to taste; mix well again.

Spoon the cheese mixture into a small (2 quart) casserole dish, and smooth it out to make an even layer.

Sprinkle a handful (about ¼ cup) of the diced pepperoni onto the cheese mixture.

Spoon the pizza sauce onto the casserole, and spread the sauce evenly over the pepperoni and the cheese mixture.

Top with the remaining pepperoni, then top the pepperoni with the mozzarella cheese.

Bake, uncovered, for 20-25 minutes, or until the mixture begins to bubble along the sides of the casserole.

Remove from the oven and sprinkle the top of the casserole with the remaining ¼ cup Parmesan cheese.

Serve with hot alongside slices of fresh Italian bread.

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