Lazy (Sun)day pizza bread

Hmmm… Okay, it’s not that lazy. But once ready… It requires a little more effort than popping a croissant in the oven, but I like to make this on a day off (or when hungover). I love a warm hearthy lunch and usually combine this with a light soup for dinner later on. Mainly because this lunch leaves you without  an appetite for the rest of the day.  At least it does with me, and trust me… that’s rare.

Pizza bread.  There are endless possibilities. Because just like a regular pizza you can use anything you like as topping. Back in the days, at home,  we used to make them from ciabatta or just a slice of bread. Simply with a tomato sauce, cheese and tomatoes. Sometimes with sausages, man, that meant the feast was on. Now that I am kind of grown up, I usually leave out the sausages (unless feeling nostalgic) and prepare an improvised bolognese sauce topped with fresh cherry tomatoes, basil and mozzarella. Preferably on a Turkish bread to share with others.

What you need (for 2 hungry people or to share with, say, 4 people):

  • 1 Turkish bread
  • For sauce:
    1 onion, 2 garlic cloves, both finely chopped
    1 red bell pepper, 3 tomatoes or a can peeled tomatoes
    3-5 stalks  baby celery, 1-2 bayleaves, salt and pepper
    red wine
    400 grams minced meat
  • For toppings:
    cherry tomatoes
    mozzarella
    basil

I have to say that I usually cook based on feel. My recipes are more of a guideline.  You have to taste during cooking anyway, so that’s when you decide if it needs a little bit of this or that.
First things first. Divide the bread in halves,  one half will be the base and the other can be used for croutons or crostini’s… Or another pizza bread of course. Oh, and the oven, let it preheat to 180°C.

Now, I like to start with the sauce, but you can do it the other way around if you want to.

1. Fry the onion and garlic in a little butter and deglaze with a splash of red wine. Let it it simmer for a bit and add the tomatoes (diced) and bell pepper. Season with some salt and pepper and throw in the bayleaves. Had a taste yet? Might be your sauce would like to have a little more wine and while your at it, pour some for yourself. Leave it all to simmer on low heat.

2. Grab another pan and fry the minced meat. Season it to your taste. I like to use nutmeg, salt, pepper and the tiniest pinch of ground cloves. Add to your tomato sauce together with the finely chopped celery and stir. Have another taste. Yum? Good.

3. Place the bread on a oven tray and smear the sauce over it. Top it off with sliced cherry tomatoes and put it in the oven for 10-15 minuten. Just so the tomatoes have a nice roast.

4. Get it out of the oven and serve with fresh basil and mozzarella.

If you have any sauce left over, you can always use it for a pasta later on, right?

Pssst, taste-secret 1:
Chuck the crowns and stalks of the tomatoes in the sauce too. It’ll bring more aroma to it. Of course remove them when you are going to use your sauce.

Taste-secret 2:
Do you feel like your sauce just is missing a little tomato taste? You know those rich sun drenched ones? Add a little sugar.

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