My husband remembers a pizza parlor in his hometown that would place a chunky tomato sauce on top of the pizza. (It was a My Pi. I think some are still opened in the Chicago area—far from Tulsa where it used to be a teen hangout.)
He raves about it, but alas, the parlor has long been closed. After I made him bruschetta for the first time, he raved about it as well. So I tried to recreate his favorite pizza from his youth by placing the fresh tomato bruschetta on top. We love it!
This was another cheesy introduction to a recipe for a contest. I entered this recipe in a Taste of Home contest where I was a finalist in their Tomato Contest. I didn’t win the overall prize, but I did win a cookbook and the recipe made the cover of the magazine.
Have I told you that we are OCD about pizza? This means I was OCD about pizza contests, too. I was determined to win. Between contests sponsored by Mama Mary’s and Boboli, I bet I entered twenty different recipes.
But I did at least win with this one at Taste of Home.
Pizza with Fresh Tomato Bruschetta
1 1/2 c. chopped Roma tomatoes
2 T. extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
1/2 t. of fresh thyme, chopped
1/2 t. Balsamic vinegar
sea salt freshly ground pepper
1 twelve inch prepared pizza crust
1 pkg. (8 oz.) turkey pepperonis
½ lb lite ground sausage (browned)
2 cups of grated low-fat mozzarella
Place pizza stone in oven and preheat oven to 425 degrees. Combine chopped tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, basil, thyme, vinegar and toss to mix. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside. Lay crust on a pizza peel. Place a layer of pepperonis and a layer of cooked sausage on crust. Top with cheese. Carefully slide the crust with toppings on the preheated pizza stone. Bake until cheese just begins to brown (about 10-15 minutes). When pizza is done, remove from oven. Using a slotted spoon or small sieve, spoon the bruschetta on the pizza, draining tomatoes as much as possible. Slice and serve.
When I make this at home, I use homemade pizza crust and I rarely use turkey pepperonis. I haven’t figured out how to get them past The Hubs.
In the height of summer when you have fresh tomatoes and fresh basil (and when you have professional photographers on staff), this is what the pizza should look like.
When fresh tomatoes from the garden aren’t available, I use POMI diced tomatoes and throw in the herbs from the recipe above. And, when POMI isn’t available, I use a combination of diced canned tomatoes and dried tomatoes and frozen pesto.
Maybe this recipe should be entitled Bruschetta Pizza in the Dead of Winter. :)
The sauce was so tasty I decided to write it down for future reference:
Dead of Winter Tomato Sauce
1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes
a “handful” of dried tomatoes (8-10 )
1 cube of frozen pesto or 1 T. of jarred pesto
salt and pepper
Place all ingredients in a small sauce pan and let simmer for 20 minutes or until dried tomatoes are soft.
Use on pasta or as a pizza sauce.
By the way—Happy Super Bowl eating today!!!!!!