Dinner · Food

French Bread Pizzas and Homemade Pizza Sauce

I happened to catch a few minutes of The Pioneer Woman last week while I was at the gym.  I adore watching tasty creations come together while jogging on an elliptical.  Perhaps it satisfies my love of good food without overdoing on actual intake. 🙂

She was making these French bread pizzas, and I’ve been dreaming about them ever since.  When it was time to make the weekly meal plan, this was the first thing I wrote down.2015-08-10 17.58.33

I had planned on just making pepperoni, but as I started prepping for dinner, I realized we had lots of other topping options.2015-08-10 17.45.48

Fresh pineapple, black olives, sliced ham, pepperoni, ground sausage, and onions, (which were caramelizing while I took this picture).

Note that this is the first time EVER that I’ve put onions on my pizza.  In fact, until high school, I was afraid of onions.  I was always asking my mom, “Does it have onions in it?” to make sure it was safe for me to eat.

I have since come to adore caramelized onions in most cooked meals, but it had never occurred to me to put them on pizza.  I’d only seen raw onions on pizza (which still do not appeal to me).

But caramelizing them first made all the difference.

Thank you Ree Drummond!  This sausage, black olive, and caramelized onion version (one of her ideas) was my favorite.  I will be doing this again.

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The suggested sauce was canned marinara, but I mixed up my family’s homemade pizza sauce instead.  It only takes about five minutes to make this sauce, and it’s delicious.

Let me say that again so I know you hear me.

This sauce is delicious.

On pizza nights growing up, each of us had a job to prep a different part of the pizza.  It was my job to grate the cheese.  My sister mixed up the sauce while my mom made the dough and Dad browned the sausage.  My little brother would shuffle around the kitchen, peering over the counter at the different ingredients.

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Right before we topped the pizzas, Mom methodically spooned sauce on the rolled dough and spread it to the edges with the back of a spoon.  Her floured fingers rolled the crust in over the sauce with a practiced rhythm leaving homey indentations that reminded me of pie crust.

Then we’d layer on the toppings and wait impatiently for them to bake.

There was always a little sauce left over, so while we waited, my sister and I would cut off slices of mozzarella and dip it in the sauce.  That is, until Mom reminded us to save room for dinner.  🙂

This sauce is still the best part of our homemade pizza.

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I share it with you in the hope that you will love it as much as we do.

Homemade Pizza Sauce

Ingredients:
12 oz tomato paste (usually two 6 oz cans)
3/4 cup water
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp oregano (leaves, not ground)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp pepper
2 TBSP brown sugar

* Sometimes I add an extra tablespoon of brown sugar to sweeten it just a tad more. I recommend trying it as is first, but follow your taste buds. 🙂

Directions:
1. Mix together tomato paste and water gently until well combined.
2. Add in all other ingredients and mix well.
3. Let sit for at least one hour before using. (I sometimes make it after breakfast and stick it in the fridge for dinner, but I’ve also mixed it up later and just let it sit while I prep toppings.)

Then use it for these French bread pizzas.

Or for your favorite pizza dough.

Or for dipping breadsticks.

Or for dipping garlic rolls.

Or spread some on a tortilla, sprinkle with cheese, and broil for a quick and filling snack.

Or… you get the idea, right? 🙂

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* Note: I recommend just broiling these (or maybe only baking 3-4 minutes on your normal rack instead of 8 on the lower rack).  Baking them first burned the bottoms in my oven.  Definitely didn’t stop me from eating them, though.  🙂

Enjoy!

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3 thoughts on “French Bread Pizzas and Homemade Pizza Sauce

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