Pizza Loaf

by Lori on January 26, 2011

When I’m reading through a new cookbook and tagging the pages with Post-it Notes, certain recipes just stick with me.  This is one such recipe.  It is so easy, satisfying and crosses over between appetizer and entree depending on whether you serve anything with it.  During the week, you can pair this with a salad or a bowl of soup and you’ve got a full meal.  Personally, I like mine with an ice-cold beer or a glass of red wine if it’s a cold night.  But as an appetizer it fits right into the category of Superbowl-friendly food, and you won’t have to wait for the over-worked pizza delivery person to inevitably arrive late. 

If you are attending a Superbowl party, the hostess and other guests will love it if you bake this off at home and arrive with a hot, ready-to-be-sliced loaf.  Otherwise, you can easily assemble it for yourself at home and bake it when you’re ready.  In either case, slice the entire loaf, sprinkle with fresh sliced basil and wait for the compliments.

It doesn’t get any easier than this folks!

Pizza Loaf
Recipe from California Heritage Continues

You can ease this up even more if you buy pre-made pizza sauce, but it’s really simple and more economical to make your own.  Also, you have so many options for additional ingredients just be careful with vegetables; they have a lot of water in them.

1/2 pound Italian sausage
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium brown onion, chopped
1 (1-pound can) crushed Italian tomatoes
1-2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/2 pound mozzarella cheese, grated
1/4 pound cheddar cheese, grated
1 loaf French bread, unsliced

Cook the Italian sausage in a heavy skillet over medium heat until brown and crumbly.  Remove with a slotted spoon and drain well.  In the same skillet, saute the garlic and onions until soft.  Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, and herbs.  Simmer for 10-15 minutes.  The sauce should be fairly thick.  Add more tomato paste if necessary.

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.  Slice the top off of the bread lengthwise, and set aside.  Scoop out the center of the bread, leaving a 1-inch shell.  Spread the tomato sauce on bottom and sides of the loaf.  Layer with the sausage and cheeses, pressing down firmly for a compact filling.  Replace the top of the loaf.  Wrap the loaf twice in sturdy aluminum foil.  Bake for 1-1/2 hours.  Remove from oven and let set for 15 minutes before slicing.  Cut into 2-inch slices.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous January 26, 2011 at 5:58 pm

Totally making this. I'm loving the appetizer theme!

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