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Guest Blog by Chef Nathan Volz: Family Pizza Bar

Posted by on September 14th, 2012

Growing up one of my favorite treats was when my mom would make homemade pizza from scratch.  Now, as you can imagine, with three little sisters who were sometimes pretty picky, I didn’t always get to have all of my favorites on our pizzas. So here’s a fun way that you can please everyone in the family and have an interactive time as well. By using Italian bread as a base, you can quickly make individual pizzas and set up a little “buffet” of toppings that each member of the family can use to craft their own piece of perfection.

Family Pizza Bar
Serves family of 4

4 small loaves of Italian bread, sliced open

 Sauce:
1 can of stewed or diced tomatoes
1/2 white onion, small dice or 1 T. onion powder
3 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced or 1/2 T. garlic powder
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh basil or 1 T. dried basil

Suggested Toppings:
1 bag of shredded mozzarella
2 links of Italian sausage, removed from casings and sautéed
3-4 slices of ham, diced
1/2 red onion, small diced
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1 red pepper, diced
1/4 cup pineapple, diced
1/4 cup black olives, sliced
2 banana peppers, sliced or pepperoncini

Pre-heat oven to 350 F degrees. For the sauce, lightly sweat out the onion and garlic in a small pot, over low heat with a little oil until they become translucent and aromatic. Make sure to season well with salt and pepper.  Add the canned tomatoes and continue to cook over low heat, stirring often, until the sauce has reduced to a thick enough consistency that it resembles a chunky marinara or gravy.  Adjust the seasoning as needed and add the basil.

While the sauce is cooking, set out small bowls or a large platter with any of the above suggested toppings or whatever favorites your family has for pizza.  Set this out on the counter along with the bread.   Set out the sauce and spread on top of the opened Italian bread.  Top with the mozzarella and now’s the fun part – personalizing the pizza!  Once you have all your favorite ingredients on your piece, place in the oven on a sheet tray for 10-12 minutes or until the bread is toasted well and the cheese is melted.  For an added touch, turn your oven to the broiler setting for the last few minutes to really get a good crisp on your toppings. Enjoy!

Nathan Volz is the Chef de Cuisine of 10 Arts Bistro & Lounge. For more information, please visit www.10arts.com or call 215.523.8273.

Craving for more? Check out more of Chef Nathan’s recipes at One Pork Shoulder, Three Dinners.

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