Pizza bread, classic and gourmet versions

This is the ticket for when it’s 7 p.m. and you have not done anything about dinner yet. It’s fast and easy, and flexible enough that you can probably throw together some version of it with what you have on hand. And I say that because it’s 7:14 p.m., and there are two pans of pizza bread in my oven as we speak.

First the classic pizza bread:

Preheat oven to 400ºF. Slice a loaf of French bread (we’re using Monterey Sourdough, which we found at Sam’s Club) lengthwise and place on a cookie sheet. Spread with your favorite canned pizza/pasta sauce. Sprinkle with shredded mozzarella cheese (we didn’t have any mozz., so we used white cheddar), and top with sliced pepperoni, sausage, olives, or whatever you have on hand. Place in the oven for 10-15 min. until the cheese is melted and slightly browned.

Then the gourmet version:

Spread the lengths of French bread with a gourmet sauce. We’re using our Roasted Vegetable Bruschetta. Sprinkle with shredded cheese: we’re using smoked gouda and a bit of Romano. You could use Provolone, or some other fancy cheese. Add other toppings as desired: olives, pine nuts, artichoke hearts, …..? We’re just doing the bruschetta and Gouda, because we had people who were fainting theatrically in the kitchen, famished from a late bike ride.

Serve with a salad or munchie vegetables with dip. Slice each half-loaf into 3 or 4 big chunks, and dig in. You could use this as appetizers if you did skinnier slices.