Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Goat Cheese Pizza Spread

Growing up in Buffalo, as kids we would make pizza spread.  We'd take some cheap bottled or canned pasta sauce, add shredded mozzarella, and just melt it in a sauce pan on the stove.  Of course, it would be served on top of toasted white bread. At that time, I would add that good Buffalo pepperoni, not made from Buffalo meat but the hearty spicy pepperoni that is hard to find elsewhere, that comes in this big stick that you'd have to peel the casing off of to be able to eat it.  

Oh, how times have changed.  Now, I might add some veggie pepperoni if I feel the need for the spicy flavor and chewy texture that it adds.  I also use a pasta sauce with natural flavor and minimal or no sugar.  Read the labels, make sure sugar is down on the list of ingredients.  I'm still searching for a great homemade marinara recipe and will keep you posted.  If you happen to have one, please send it to me!!  The goat cheese in today's recipe just instantly makes it a creamy rich comfort food appetizer.  I like the crunchiness and chewiness of the ciabatta.  If you can find a whole wheat one, all the better.   Have fun transforming a childhood favorite into a healthier, tastier adult version.  I did!

Watch the video, print the recipe, prepare any one of the dishes and you'll find yourself saying "That's Vegetarian?!"
Adult Pizza Spread

5 oz Goat cheese
1 c Tomato and Roasted Red Pepper Pasta Sauce (or another pasta sauce of choice)
1 Ciabatta loaf bread, 1/2" slices
3 Garlic cloves, minced (optional)
Olive Oil

Preheat oven to 350F.

Spread about 1/8 c of the pasta sauce on bottom of baking dish to help prevent sticking.  A 5" round dish with a 3" depth is a good size.  Pad goat cheese into a ball and place it the middle of the baking dish.  Add the remaining pasta sauce around the goat cheese.  Don't cover the cheese completely, have about 1" above the sauce level. 

Bake uncovered at 350¡F for about 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, place the sliced ciabatta bread on a baking sheet, spray with olive oil and then spread the minced garlic on the top.  Bake for 10 minutes (just put bread in oven with cheese and sauce 15 minutes into baking) to toast it. 

Prep Time: 10 min
Bake Time: 25 min
Difficulty Level: Easy
Serves 6 as an appetizer

(3pp.  Add 2pp per slice of bread.)

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