Summer isn't summer without bruschetta. It's such a simple thing; tomatoes, basil, EVOO, S&P, and crusty bread. It's almost too pretty to eat...almost.
Remember, it's the simple things in life that keep us going. In case you've forgotten this summertime treat, I've got a simple recipe.
Container of heirloom cherry tomatoes
A large basil stem (approximately 6 - 8 large basil leaves)
Salt and Pepper to taste
Crusty bread of choice (I chose a gluten-free bagel)
Cut tomatoes in half. Drizzle with EVOO and use salt & pepper to taste. Julienne basil leaves and add to the tomatoes. Gently toss. Set aside.
Turn on the stovetop and add a bit of EVOO and a clove of fresh garlic smashed. Move the garlic around the pan. Place bread in the skillet. Let it lightly toast on one side. Remove from the skillet. Place on a serving platter with the tomato mixture. Pile the tomatoes on top of the bread and it's bruschetta time.
"Dear friends, here you have a super delicious pizza typical in our countries."
Chef Laura Arredondo
Fugazza is a typical dish made in South America. After baking, the crust is very light and airy, much like focaccia. While in the oven, the dough soaks up all the olive oil from the sautéed onions. Typically, it doesn't have sauce or cheese, just the sweet sautéed onions and oregano. If you use a thicker crust by doubling the number of dough layers and adding melted cheese it's called fugazetta.
For today's pizza, it will be the thinner crust or Fugazza pizza with the sautéed sweet onion, oregano, and one or two kinds of cheese. Other possible toppings include artichokes, pimento, olives, or prosciutto. It's like a baked Charcuterie.
For a store-bought crust, I found the most wonderful ball of dough at Midtown Market called Tiseo's pizza dough. It has a wonderful flavor and isn't expensive. On Tiseo's website, it says the dough can be found at Kroger, Meijer, IGA, Save-a-lot, high-end gourmet markets, and some independent markets.
Fugazza Pizza: An Argentinean Style Onion Pizza
Pizza dough (store-bought or make your own)
Two yellow onions
1/4 cup Olive oil
Salt an pepper to taste
16 ounces of mozzarella cheese (helps onions stick to the pizza crust)
1/2 tsp. oregano
Make a pizza dough or buy the one you like pre-made. Cut yellow onions into thin slices. Sauté with olive oil, salt and pepper. Cover the pizza with shredded mozzarella cheese (so the onions stick to the pizza). Add the onion and finish with more mozzarella , black pepper and oregano.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and cook the pizza for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. If you have other cheeses that melt, use them to enjoy the delicious fugazza. Since many WKY Community Living readers enjoy blue cheese, chef Laura said it would be wonderful on the fugazza.
"We come from an Italian family where pasta is always part of our meals as an entrée or main dish. My mom always had this pasta ready so we could scoop it at anytime of the day or night. And traditions are to follow. I do the same and would like to share this easy recipe with you."
Everyday Pasta by chef Laura Arredondo
Boil a box of penne, elbow, or spiral pasta. When it’s ready, drain and keep a cup of water to put back in the pot with the pasta. While the burner is low, add 1/2 stick butter, 2 cups milk, 1 cup parmesan cheese, 1/3 stick cream cheese, and 1 cup shredded cheese. For fresh greens add green onions, parsley and if it's handy, basil.
Salt and pepper to taste, 2 T. garlic powder, 1/2 tsp. nutmeg and mix everything. You will have a creamy pasta full of flavor. You can also add green peas, broccoli or any vegetable you like.
"I keep it in a container and to heat, just put in in a bowl in the microwave. If I need a side dish for dinner I heat the pasta, put it in a Pyrex and cover it with some parmesan cheese and pieces of butter then right to the oven to broil and everybody loves it." chef Laura