When I decided to make Holden a family cookbook, I knew I had to include this French Bread Pizza recipe from my father. My dad has a lot of failings, but he sure can cook. He's one of those people who just opens up cupboards and whips up a feast without even trying.
If I'm honest, I should admit I'm a little jealous of people who can do that.
Anyhoo, this recipe is easy and tasty and it reminds me of my father. What more can you ask for in a meal?
Like all pizza recipes, this one is extremely flexible. Just put what you like on it and leave off what you don't. No thinking required. Instead of using jarred sauce I made my own by just cooking some chopped garlic and red pepper flakes in a little olive oil before adding a can of crushed tomatoes. Usually I have no problem with using jarred sauce for this recipe, but I didn't have any on hand.
Would I make this again? Most definitely.
My Dad's French Bread Pizza
1 Loaf of French Bread (2 if you're feeding more then 4 people)
1 jar of Spaghetti sauce (you can make your own of course)
Sausage (cooked and crumbled)
Butter (enough to cover one half of your loaf, softened)
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
1. First you're going to cut the top off of your French loaf. Instead of cutting it perfectly in half, you're going to cut only about a third of the top off. You'll then want to partially hollow out your bottom half to make room for your ingredients. (If you want though, you can cut your loaf perfectly in half and hallow out both sides instead of having a top. This is how my father does it though.)
2. Starting with the sauce and ending with the cheese, layer your ingredients in the loaf. Easy peasy.
3. You'll then want to mix some chopped garlic with your softened butter and spread it across the top piece of your French bread.
4. Place both sides of your loaf in the oven and cook until the cheese is melted and the bread is toasted, about 20-30 minutes. Garnish with chopped basil if you like.
At this point you can eat your pizza with the top on or without it. I think it's a bit easier to eat it with the top on, but it is also kind of messy because of how toasted I like everything. Next time I think I'll make both sides pizzas, but I wanted to stay true to my father's recipe for Holden's book.