"Served with a green salad, slices of this pizza-flavored sandwich make a terrific lunch or dinner," informs Eleanor Dunbar from Peoria, Illinois. The crispy bread is loaded with a hearty filling of Canadian bacon, pepperoni, cheese and more.
- 2 loaves (8 ounces each) unsliced Italian bread
- 6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) Italian diced tomatoes, drained
- 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
- 1 package (6 ounces) Canadian bacon, chopped
- 1 package (3-1/2 ounces) sliced pepperoni
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
- Cut 1/2 in. from the top of each loaf of bread; set aside. Hollow out bottom portion, leaving a 1/2-in. shell (discard removed bread or save for another use). Brush insides of shells and crust with 4 tablespoons oil. Place on a baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 5-10 minutes or until toasted.
- In a 3-qt. saucepan, combine the tomatoes, tomato paste, bacon, pepperoni, garlic, basil, oregano and pepper. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in cheeses. Spoon into bread shells; replace tops and brush with remaining oil. Bake 15 minutes longer or until heated through. Yield: 10-12 servings.
Originally published as Italian Sandwich Loaf in Quick Cooking January/February 1999, p52
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