What are some of your fondest food memories from your childhood?
I remember making some quick English muffin pizzas for a snack or a quick supper. Honestly, back then, it was pretty bare bones and basic. We toasted English muffins then topped them with a couple of teaspoons of canned tomato paste and sprinkled them with some pre grated mozzarella cheese.
Today, my version includes thick slices of English muffin toasting bread topped with home made marinara sauce, slices of fresh buffalo mozzarella cheese, and topped with a ‘salad’ of crisp & chewy bacon, fresh spinach leaves and juicy cherry tomatoes. Warm and cheesy, crunchy and chewy, and fresh with a burst of greens and sweet tomatoes.
Pile your saucy toasts real high and grab a fork and a knife!
Start by making a very simple marinara sauce with San Marzano tomatoes and some fresh basil which will wilt into the sauce and give it such a bright, fresh flavor.
You could certainly use English muffins. But one of the markets I frequent sells this beautiful English muffin bread. I always ask for a couple of loaves not sliced so that I can make the slices extra thick for these mini pizzas. Toast it up. It’s so perfectly crunchy and chewy at the same time.
Once your bread is toasted, slather it with some of your luscious marinara sauce, top it with some fresh, sweet mozzarella and set it under your broiler to melt.
And then simply top your cheesy, tomato toasts with fresh spinach, crispy bacon, and fresh tomatoes. Use more or less of any of these ingredients that you want.
These are so easy to whip up for lunch or brunch, a simple supper or a midnight snack!
- For the Marinara Sauce:
- 1 (28 ounce) can of San Marzano tomatoes
- 1 cup of water
- ¼ cup of olive oil
- 8 cloves of fresh garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon of kosher salt
- 1 large sprig of fresh basil
- pinch of red pepper flakes
- For the Pizzettes:
- 8 slices of English muffin toasting bread
- 1 cup of marinara sauce
- 16 ounces of fresh buffalo mozzarella, thinly sliced
- 1 cup of fresh spinach leaves
- 1 cup of sliced cherry tomatoes
- 8 slices of crisp bacon, chopped
- For the Marinara:
- Pour the tomatoes into a bowl and crush them with your hands.
- Add a cup of water to the tomato can and slosh it around to capture all of the tomato juices.
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
- When the oil is hot, add the minced garlic.
- Stir for a minute or two but don't let the garlic brown.
- Add the tomatoes and the reserved tomato water.
- Add the salt and red pepper flakes.
- Place the entire basil stem on top of the sauce, let it wilt, and then submerge it in the sauce.
- Simmer until the sauce has thickened and is a deep orange, about 15-20 minutes.
- Discard the basil, and season to taste.
- NOTE: THIS RECIPE MAKES ABOUT 3 CUPS OF MARINARA WHICH IS MORE THAN YOU WILL NEED FOR THE PIZZETTES.
- For The Pizzettes:
- Preheat your broiler to high.
- Place the bread slices on a baking sheet and toast until golden.
- Remove the bread from the oven and spread each slice with the marinara.
- Place a couple of slices of mozzarella on each slice of bread.
- Return the sheet pan to the broiler, and broil about 3-4 inches from the heat for a minute or two until the cheese has melted and is golden.
- Top each pizzette with spinach, tomatoes and bacon.