My Mom’s Family Style Cavatini #SundaySupper

I’m celebrating National Pizza Month with my mom’s family style Cavatini! What is Cavatini?  It’s a traditional Italian dish much like a pizza casserole. Traditionally, it’s made using three different noodles, cheeses and meats. But my mom always thought outside the box, so she put her own flair on it to make it what our family loved.

When I was a kid, I loved Sundays because we would gather at my grandparents with the aunts, uncles and cousins and have family meals. Typically, that family meal was spaghetti, meatballs, and Italian sausage. One of my favorite meals, though, was Cavatini. I loved when my mom made it for dinner. Being one of those oddball kids back then that loved everything on my pizza when all the other kids only wanted cheese or at most pepperoni, Cavatini let me taste all those great flavors in one simple dish!


My mom’s Cavatini combines onions, peppers, black olives, Italian sausage and pepperoni with pasta, gravy (red sauce) and mozzarella. I like to start by sauteing down the onions and peppers until they are soft. Once those are ready, I simply combine them with some already cooked pasta, typically rigatoni, and all the other ingredients. Then, I top it with mozzarella and bake it in the oven just to melt to the cheese and warm through the rest of the ingredients.

If you’re making this dish for your family, you can also divide the baking dish using some aluminum foil and make two different versions with no additional work required. Mix the veggies and meat in on one side and leave the other side plain if you have kids and/or picky eaters in your house.


This dish can be made vegetarian, dairy free or gluten free by just eliminating the meat, skipping the cheese and/or substituting gluten free pasta. It’s such a quick and easy meal that it’s perfect for weeknights and a great addition to your family table during Lent. It’s also a great potluck dinner meal. I guarantee you won’t have to cart any leftovers home. Maybe the hostess will even wash the pan for you before you leave!

My Mom's Family Style Cavatini

  • 1 lb rigatoni, cooked then divided in half if making separate versions
  • 8-12 oz mozzarella cheese
  • 2 jars of pasta sauce
  • 1 can large black olives, sliced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1 lb Italian sausage
  • 8 oz. pepperoni

Preheat oven to 350.

Cook pasta and drain. Saute onions and peppers in a little olive oil until soft. Remove sausage from casing (or buy Italian sausage already removed from casing) and brown over medium heat. Drain fat.

Combine pasta, sauce, meats and veggies. Pour into a 9X13 baking dish. Top with mozzarella cheese and bake until cheese is melted and Cavatini warmed through.


PBB signature


Follow Me on social media:





Cross Your Finish Lines!
Craving More? Get exclusive subscriber access to healthy living information, workouts, training, racecation and travel deals, and recipes!
Email *

First Name

* Required Field


Be sure to check out all these other great Pizza-inspired meal ideas. Let’s face it, who doesn’t love pizza!






Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.




Cassandra Burke is a Forensic Scientist by day, and a Group Fitness Instructor, Swim Team Coordinator and Travel Agent by night. A Breast Cancer Survivor since 2010, she writes about her journey as well as her struggles – training for triathlons and races, struggling to get back her health, and balancing family life all while building her brand and finding her purpose after cancer. Subscribe to Cassandra’s newsletter for updates and follow @poweredbybling on social media! For endurance sport race travel and custom family vacation travel, visit her at


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge