Monday, May 26, 2008

Best. Recipe. Ever.

Weigh-in time again! Dh and I are both down 2 pounds so far! Woohoo! The running is going better than it was but not as good as it should be. Hopefully this week will be even better!

Grr! As soon as I was headed out to the garden, the rain began. So much for spending Memorial Day outside in the garden. It's pretty cloudy, dreary ... and wet here. Luckily I made a great dish last night to tell you about. Rachael Ray's Bolognese Bread Pizza. I'm not really a fan of bread pizzas and since I don't care for meat either, I didn't really expect to like this one. OMG! It was so good that ds and I fought over who got the remaining pizza. Luckily for us dh wasn't home to claim his share. (Not so good for the diet though!)

The meat sauce was delicious, though I must admit that I took some liberties with the recipe. Rather than use ground beef, I used some hot sausage and left out the allspice so I'm sure the original recipe would taste a little different. I had a little sauce left over and I'm planning to have it today with some leftover pasta. Yum! Next time I'm going to double the sauce recipe just so I'll have plenty of leftovers! You also might want to pay attention while the pizza is under the broiler. I pretty much fell asleep on the job and burned half of the pizza. (Wahhh!) The other was on the verge of over-done but still tasted great. I also think that next time I'd slice the fresh mozzarella more thinly because ds felt that the cheese was overwhelming. (Though he isn't much of a cheese fan in general. Is he *really* my kid? ::shake head sadly::)

This dish was so good that ds, who is headed off to college in the fall, asked me for the recipe so he could take it with him. *And* he suggested that we should try making it using taco meat and cheddar cheese as well. This is from ds who -- if forced by severe starvation -- might bring himself to whip up some Ramen Noodle soup. Definitely one we'll be repeating around here!

Bolognese Bread Pizza
Recipe courtesy Rachael Ray

1 long loaf Italian semolina bread, 20 to 24 inches, day old is fine
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan
2 slices pancetta or bacon, chopped
2 pounds ground beef
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 medium yellow onions, peeled and finely chopped
1 small carrot, peeled and chopped
Coarse black pepper and coarse salt
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon allspice, 1/3 palm full
1/2 cup red wine, + a couple of glugs
1/2 cup beef stock
1 can crushed tomatoes, (14-ounce)
1 handful flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 pound fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
4 handfuls grated Parmigiano or Romano
1 cup fresh basil, 20 leaves, shredded or torn

Heat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Split bread lengthwise then cut in half again and hollow out some of the insides of bread. Lightly crisp bread in oven, 5 to 8 minutes. Remove bread and switch broiler on.
Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high to high heat. Add extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan. Add the pancetta, render a minute or so, add the meat and break it up into an even layer. Let the meat caramelize 1 to 2 minutes without stirring. Break it into small bits and brown well. Add garlic, onions and carrots and season with lots of coarse pepper, some salt, Worcestershire and allspice then cook 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add wine and scrape up pan bits. Add stock and loosen up the mixture a little. Add tomatoes and parsley and heat through, 1 to 2 minutes. Fill breads and top with a thin layer of mozzarella and a sprinkle of Parmigiano or Romano. Broil the pizzas to melt cheese.
Top each pizza liberally with basil and serve (with a fork and knife).

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