I have Papa John’s on speed dial. Their store is a mere two blocks from my house, so I can even avoid the tip and delivery fee by sending my boyfriend to pick it up. I’ll be honest; at times, there is more than one Papa John’s box waiting to be recycled at my home. When the house is a mess, the cats won’t stop yowling, my partner is working late, and work just sucked, all I want is pizza.
Pizza’s been my comfort food for a long time. When I was little, the Totino’s party pizzas were a freezer staple. As I got older, I made the homemade Chef Boyardee pizza kits every few weeks. In college, my roommate and I ordered Papa John’s about once a week, and any time either of us had a paper due, a bad exam, a fight with a friend, or a breakup. More recently, I make pretty much every pizza that Pioneer Woman posts (they’re all good). Pizza is the go-to.
Focaccia pizza isn’t as easy as dialing Papa John’s, but it’s a lot easier than making a dough, letting it rise, and teasing it out. It’s basically a two-step process (make sauce, then make pizza), and it feeds the need for carbs and cheese quite nicely.
Serves 2 generously, 4-6 as an appetizer
You will need:
1 loaf focaccia bread
1 can crushed tomatoes (I recommend Hunt’s or Miur Glen, or you can use jarred pizza or marinara sauce)
I clove garlic
Salt and pepper to taste
Toppings of your choice
Preheat the oven to 450. Slice the loaf of focaccia in half lengthwise and brush with olive oil. Toast the bread briefly in the oven, without letting it get too brown.
Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp. olive oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the can of tomatoes, and salt and pepper to taste, and stir to combine. Reduce at least ten minutes.
Top focaccia with sauce, shredded mozzarella, and toppings of your choice. Bake for 5-10 minutes (cooking times will vary according to your cheese and how long you toasted your bread previously) or until the cheese is melted and golden brown. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese, if desired.