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So, this is not exactly pizza. It’s more like a calzone, really, but I’m calling it rustic pizza because that’s what seems to suit it best. You can create your own twist on this recipe by throwing in whatever you have in your refrigerator- roasted vegetables (this would be a great place to tuck in some vegetable ratatouille), leftover meats, or greens. The only requirements, per se, are some sort of cheese and a yummy red sauce. Any pizza dough works for this, I adore the store bought from Trader Joes, but if you’re a homemade dough person, by all means…

Here is the recipe for our version of rustic pizzas. I hope you enjoy them as much as we did!

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Divide your dough into three or four portions (size depends on the person you are making it for; for us, we had a baby bear, mama bear, and papa bear size). Flatten out each piece of dough to about ¼ – ½ inch thick using your hands or a rolling pin and shape into a rough circle. In the center of each dough round add a couple of spoonfuls of sauce ( we used Trader Joe’s tomato basil marinara sauce), a few freshly cut rounds of mozzarella cheese, a few pieces of cooked sausage (spicy chicken sausage went into ours), and a couple of torn up pieces of basil.

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Brush a little bit of olive oil along the edge of the dough circle. Pull one side of the dough over the filling to reach the other side. Push to seal the edges and brush the top of each pizza with olive oil. Place on a parchment lined sheet tray or directly onto a pre-heated pizza stone.
Bake at 450 degrees until golden, about 15-20 minutes.

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Let cool slightly as the inside will remain very hot for quite awhile. We actually cut Jack’s way before meal time so it would be cool enough…he did not appreciate the wait! Serve with a handful of arugula and some warmed marinara sauce for dipping.

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