March 26, 2011

French Bread Pizza

My friend Amy inspired me to make this several weeks ago and it was a hit, so it's definitely been added to our repertoire.  I think this meal is perfect for casual guests because it's quick and easy to make and super delicious!
This is not my original idea, but this is how I make it...

French Bread Pizza
- 1 loaf of french bread 
- 1 lb italian sausage
- 1 small onion, sliced thin
- 1 jar of spaghetti sauce
- 3+ cloves of minced garlic
- italian seasoning, garlic powder, minced dried onion
- approx. 2 cups of fresh spinach
- shredded mozzarella &/or cheddar

* add your favorite toppings!  (olives, bell peppers, pepperoni, etc)

In a pan, cook the sliced onions in a little bit of olive oil over medium-high heat and add the italian sausage.  I don't even use the whole pound (more like 3/4).

Meanwhile, cut your loaf down the middle lengthwise and place on a cookie sheet.  I put a little bit of butter or extra virgin olive oil on the top of the loaf and then broil the loaf on low for just a minute or so to toast the bread.  (I think this keeps it from soaking up the tomato sauce and getting soggy).

Warning!  If you are broiling, be sure you don't walk away from the oven - check your bread often b/c it will burn in the blink of an eye!  I've learned this the hard way.

When the sausage is almost completely browned, add the 3+ cloves of minced garlic to the mix.  Once cooked through, remove from heat.

When your bread is toasted, spread a generous layer of spaghetti sauce over the top with a spatula.
 Then spread on your meat mixture...
 Then I add on the fresh spinach and a whole lotta shredded cheese.  I also sprinkle a bit of garlic powder, italian seasoning, and minced dried onion on top.

Then broil your "pizza" on low for a few minutes, checking very frequently to make sure it's not burning.  If you think you'll forget to check or are afraid you'll burn it, you can probably bake the pizza on high heat (like 450) for about 7 minutes or until the cheese is melted thoroughly.

Broiling for just a few minutes (like 2-5 minutes) will give you a really toasty pizza with browned melted cheese on top!  YUM
Now find some good friends to share it with and enjoy!
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