"Pizza" di Carne
Serves 6 to 8 people
Here is a tasty, ingenious ground beef dish that looks and tastes like a pizza but has no dough. It has the traditional elements of an Italian Pizza Margherita: tomatoes, mozzarella, and oregano. But here they provide the topping for a ground beef mixture. It is basically a round, flat meat loaf topped with pizza seasoning. This dish can be served as part of a buffet, as a hearty appetizer, or for a light lunch along with a salad.
15 minutes to prepare
35 minutes from start to finish
2 slices white bread
2 tablespoons whole milk
1 pound ground beef
1/2 cup freshly grated pecorino romano
2 tablespoons plain fine dry bread crumbs
2 large eggs
2 ounces pancetta, thinly sliced
Freshly ground black pepper
Butter for the baking dish
3/4 cup drained canned whole
peeled tomatoes, coarsely chopped
4 ounces fresh mozzarella
2 tablespoons shredded fresh basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried whole oregano leaves
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
2. Cut the crusts from the bread. Put the bread and milk in a small bowl and mash the bread with your hands to get a smooth paste. Transfer it to a large mixing bowl and add the beef, pecorino, bread crumbs, and eggs.
3. Chop the pancetta and add it to the bowl. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Mix everything together thoroughly with your hands.
4. Butter the bottom and sides of a pie dish approximately 10 inches in diameter. Put in the ground beef mixture and spread it out evenly with your hands. Cover with the tomatoes. Cut the mozzarella into strips and arrange them over the tomatoes (I like creating the spokes of a wheel with them). Sprinkle the basil leaves on top along with the dried oregano.
5. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Let the "pizza" settle for about 5 minutes after you take it out of the oven, then transfer it with 2 spatulas to a serving plate. Serve it hot or lukewarm.
Every Night Italian
By Giuliano Hazan
Scribner, January 2000
Recipe reprinted by permission.
This page created February 2000
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