The kids will really love this casserole recipe that is full of the flavors of pizza. This recipe does not have a long cooking time so it is best to prepare it in the late afternoon and get it in the slow cooker. It will be ready in time for dinner.
In a large skillet on the stove top add the bulk Italian sausage, onion and minced garlic and brown and crumble the sausage until no longer pink and the onion has turned translucent. Drain off any excess cooking fat and set the meat aside.
Pour the pasta in a colander in your kitchen sink and rinse the pasta with very hot tap water for about 8 to 10 minutes. This will rinse some of the starch off the pasta and begin to soften the pasta ever so slightly preventing your pasta from turning gummy in the slow cooker.
In a large mixing bowl mix together the rinsed and drained pasta, the Italian sausage mixture, pizza sauce, fennel seeds and Italian seasoning until all the pasta is coated with pizza sauce.
Place a layer of pasta in the bottom of either a 3.5 quart casserole slow cooker OR a 6 quart or larger round or oval slow cooker.
Sprinkle the layer of pasta with some sliced pepperoni, sliced Canadian bacon, and black olives.
Add a layer of shredded cheese.
Create two additional layers of pasta, pizza toppings and cheese. Ending with cheese on the top layer.
Cover and cook on LOW for 2 to 3 hours.
Serve with a nice side salad and crusty Italian bread for a dinner the whole family will love!