Wednesday, March 25, 2015
Bagel Pizzas: A '90s Snack Favorite
When I began thinking about what to feature for my week of 1990s foods, I did some research on what others recall as popular foods of the decade. Again and again I saw mentions of bagel pizzas (or pizza bagels, people seem to say it both ways).
Bagel pizza follow a similar trend from the 1980s: the french-bread pizza. Rather than building a pizza with a foundation of raw dough, you're starting with a pre-made bread product and topping it with whatever you like. It's the kind of time-saver recipe common then (and now), but with enough DIY that it feels more homemade than something popped in the microwave.
The recipe below is adapted mostly from The Frugal Girl, but I incorporated a few ideas from other sources. One recipe had the great tip of starting the pizza by placing a slice of pepperoni over the bagel's hole to prevent ingredients from falling through. Since I was using very large pepperoni slices, I cut them into quarters for this purpose. I changed the ingredients up, substituting provolone for the mozzarella and adding thin slices of green bell pepper.
Adapted from a recipe by The Frugal Girl
Makes 8 pizzas
4 plain bagels, cut in half
1 cup pizza sauce (store-bought or make your own, see recipe below)
12 oz. sliced or shredded provolone cheese
10 large slices of pepperoni (or 32 small slices)
1 green bell pepper, core and seeds removed, sliced into rings 1/8-inch thick
Grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Place bagels evenly spaced on a baking sheet (line the baking sheet with aluminum foil for easy clean-up) cut-side up.
2. If using large pepperoni, cut two of them into quarters and place a quarter over the hole in the center of each bagel. If using small pepperoni, place one over the hole in the center of each bagel.
3. Spoon 1 1/2 to 2 tbsp. pizza sauce evenly over each bagel.
4. If using sliced provolone, place a provolone slice over each sauced bagel. If using shredded provolone, spread an even layer of cheese over each bagel.
5. Top the cheese with 1 large or 3 small slices of pepperoni and a slice of green bell pepper. Sprinkle any remaining cheese over the top (if using sliced provolone, chop the cheese into bits first). Sprinkle with dried oregano.
6. Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake until the cheese has melted, about 8 to 10 minutes. Turn on the broiler, and broil until the cheese has browned a bit, about 2 to 3 minutes more. Serve immediately with grated parmesan at the table.
Easy Pizza Sauce
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
Pinch of red chili pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
16 oz. can of crushed tomatoes
Salt, to taste
Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic, chili pepper flakes and oregano and sauté until the garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, season with salt and cook until the mixture bubbles, then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.