JUMBO PIZZA SANDWICH
8 to 12 appetizer servings, or 4 to 6 entrée servings
- 1pound mild or hot-spiced Italian sausage (not in links) or lean ground beef or uncooked ground chicken or turkey
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- 2 (6-ounce) cans tomato paste
- ½ cup chopped ripe/black olives
- ½ cup minced peeled onion
- ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 to 3 tablespoons water
- Salt, freshly ground black pepper, and Italian seasoning or dried herbs to taste
- 1 loaf Italian bread or French bread, cut in half lengthwise (may scoop out some of the bread from each half loaf to make a cavity, if desired)
- Extra virgin olive as needed
- 14 thin slices firm ripe tomato
- About ¾ to 1 (7-ounce) package pepperoni slices (optional)
- 8 ounces thinly sliced mozzarella or provolone or smoked provolone cheese or other desired cheese, each slice cut in half diagonally
In a large heavy skillet lightly coated with non-caloric vegetable cooking spray, brown sausage or ground beef or chicken or turkey over moderate heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and drain off excess fat. Stir in garlic, tomato paste, olives, Parmesan cheese, and water. Season with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning or dried Italian herbs to taste.
Arrange bread loaf halves on an ungreased baking sheet, cut sides up. Evenly brush olive oil lightly over the cut surfaces of the bread halves, if desired. Spread meat mixture over cut surface of each bread loaf half, dividing evenly. Top each with 7 tomato slices and then pepperoni, if used. Bake, uncovered, in a preheated hot oven (400 degrees F.) for 15 minutes. Evenly arrange cheese half slices over tomatoes on each bread loaf half. May sprinkle with additional Italian seasoning/herbs, if desired. Continue baking for 5 minutes. Cut each half loaf into 4 to 6 slices and serve immediately.
Note: For 16 to 24 persons, increase the ingredients by 2 times the amounts.