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Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Super Stuffed French Bread Pizza Rustica

Time somehow got away from me yesterday - and I have no idea how that happened, as I did nothing.. nada.. not a thing. But somehow it got too late to run to the grocery store for the planned meal of Hand Hacked Pot Stickers with a Tangy Ginger Sauce from the Cooking Light book. It might have been something to do with all the fakkin rain. I swear, leave it to me to take a week off when all it does is rain. *sigh* All I could muster up the energy for yesterday was some light cleaning and mostly ploppin me arse on the couch all day watching movies and reading a book. Woo.

So anyhoo, I didn't have the wonton wrappers to make the meal I had planned, thankfully I remembered I had promised to make Rachael Ray's Super Stuffed French Bread Pizza Rustica for Hubbs at some point in the week. Last night was the night.

I've had some luck with Rachael's recipes and then I've had some major bombs as well. I wasn't sure how these were going to turn out but I didn't have a super good feeling as I'm not a huge french bread pizza fan and well.. I'm a pizza snob in the first place. I really only like the pizza's I make that were taught to me by my Auntie Ann. But what's a girl to do when she's too lazy to round up ingredients? I didn't use the exact "stuffing" ingredients as Rachael did and pretty much just stuffed them with what we had in the fridge. But let me tell you.. these were fanfarkingtastic! I think the two reasons these turned out sooooo damn good was because of Rachael's idea of browning sausage onions and bell pepper then combining them with ricotta cheese. That was the base of the stuffing. The other reason I think they were so delicious is that I used a pork sausage made with sage that Hubbs always buys when he goes out to farm land to visit his brother's cabin. I use to never like sausage on my pizzas before, until I tried this particular sausage made exclusively at this tiny mom and pop grocery store in Jefferson, Ohio. It is fabulous.

They are very heavy as you really stuff them with a lot of "toppings". And you use a good sized loaf of French bread that you hollow out. I got about 6 nice sized slices for each half of the pizza and I could barely get two of them down, it was so filling. The bread crisps up nicely and gives a good chew along with a nice crust on the bottom - and the best thing is, with all the stuffing plus my addition of some of my marinara, the bread did not get soggy whatsoever. I sliced one half for us to enjoy and froze the other half for another day when we wanted something super quick to munch on. Had I known they'd be so damn filling, I wouldn't have baked the other half and just froze it instead. Next time I'll know.

I'm going to post Rachael's recipe as I found it on Food TV and I'll note the changes I made to ours. Try this if you are in need of something really quick and filling one night.. they were awesome. =)

Super Stuffed French Bread Pizza Rustica
Rachael Ray's Super Stuffed French Bread Pizza Rustica

1 (2 foot long) loaf French bread
1 pound sweet Italian sausage
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 small red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 small onion, chopped
2 large cloves garlic, chopped
1 package frozen chopped spinach defrosted and squeezed dry (I didn't have spinach, so it was omitted)
Salt and pepper
1 1/2 cups part skim ricotta
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 pound sweet sopressata, from the deli, sliced thick, chopped (Didn't have this as well, so it was omitted)
1/2 stick pepperoni, chopped (I didn't chop mine, but made a layer under the cheese of sliced pepperoni)
1 sack (10 ounces) shredded mozzarella (I used the crumbled Italian 4 cheese blend type cheese)
1 sack (10 ounces) shredded provolone
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
I added maybe 1/4 cup of my marinara, which I spread lightly over the sausage mixture, before adding the rest of my toppings. It wasn't much - but enough to add a little more moisture to the mix. I also added mild banana peppers, black olives and sliced mushrooms.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Split bread lengthwise and hollow it out. Cut in half across, making 4 shells for pizzas.

Heat a skillet over medium high flame and brown sausage in extra-virgin olive oil. Brown and crumble sausage. Add red bell pepper, onion and garlic. Cook 3 to 5 minutes, add spinach. Remove mixture from heat and season with a pinch of salt and black pepper, to your taste.

Transfer to a bowl. Combine sausage and veggies with ricotta, Parmesan, sopressata and pepperoni. Fill bread shells and top with mounded mozzarella and provolone cheeses. Place in hot oven on cookie sheet and bake until cheese melts and bubbles and bread is super crisp, about 10 to 12 minutes. Top pizzas with oregano and hot pepper flakes. Serve immediately, or snack all night!

Super Stuffed French Bread Pizza Rustica

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Comments on "Super Stuffed French Bread Pizza Rustica"

 

Anonymous Ellie said ... (7/12/2006 9:23 AM) : 

*whines* Liiiii-saaaa, what am I going to do with you? Honestly, posting such beautiful and delish dishes when all I've got in my pantry are a few questionable mussels and carrots? :( *looks at gurgling tummy*

Oh well, at least I've got great food dreams on the menu now ;)

 

Blogger Acme Instant Food said ... (7/12/2006 11:07 AM) : 

As always Lis, this sounds yummy. It's 8 am and I'm at my desk, shunning my non-fat yogurt and Grape-Nuts and wanting pizza instead.

Have you ever made sausage? I'd love to try my hand at it. I'd like to know if you can use lean cuts of meat to make it a lighter fare--or does that just produce hideous sausage? Inquiring minds...

Too many questions and way too little time!

 

Blogger Lis said ... (7/12/2006 10:38 PM) : 

Ellie - hehehe am sorry honey! It's my vacation time.. with all the rain, I've got nothing to do buy cook and post!

Kevin - I have never made sausage, and I have no idea how you would do it. Having said that, I can't see why you couldn't use leaner meats as you grind everything up anyway, yes? If they can make sausage with turkey and chicken, why not lighter cuts of pork and beef? Yep, I agree.. way too little time.

 

Blogger Ed Tep said ... (7/12/2006 11:32 PM) : 

Lis - Wow! You totally had me flashing back to my childhood. We used to make French Bread pizzas all the time. We would totally load up on all the toppins. But, hollowing out the loaves is ingenious. I bet it makes them much easier to eat. Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

 

Blogger SmileyCarrie said ... (7/15/2006 6:25 AM) : 

Mmmmmm that looks like something from a restaurant! I'll have to try that one :)

 

Blogger Lis said ... (7/15/2006 8:16 AM) : 

Ed - yep, hollowing it out definitely made eating them easier. Plus the crust of the bread got much more crispier and chewier than the french bread pizzas that aren't hollowed out. They were quite delish, if I do say so myself :D

Carrie - nice to meet you! Thanks and I hope you do try them.. let me know how yours turn out :D

 

Blogger Cate said ... (7/15/2006 1:29 PM) : 

Great minds think alike - we made these last weekend ... so yummy and filling!

 

Anonymous gioia said ... (5/21/2007 10:28 AM) : 

that pizza rustica looks yummy.

 

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