Wing it Pizza

Last week I visited my dear friend Sunny. Our term of endearment for each other is “wifey”. She calls me that because when I go to visit I clean, cook, and do the laundry just like a good wife should, or did.  We still laugh whenever we hear this affectionate term as if it was the first time.

When I arrived, she had made a scrumptious dish that seemed like a cross between a pizza and lasagna without noodles, baked in a cast iron skillet. I ate a slice and couldn’t believe how good it was with delicious layers of flavors and textures. Of course I had to ask for the recipe, thinking it would be a somewhat complicated dish to make. But it had only five main ingredients, which means I could write about it since it was simple enough.

This isn’t an exact recipe because you can wing it – no exact measurements are required. My friend Heather helped me make this and it was so much fun it almost seemed like a skit.

Here is what we did:

We browned a pound of ground beef along with a coarsely chopped onion and some salt.  We were startled when the lid on the can of the Pillsbury pizza crust suddenly popped off like a champagne cork as the dough burst out of the tube. Now we know why the dough is kept in the refrigerated section of the grocery store. But when we stretched the dough out, it sprang back like a rubber band. After several rounds of this we gave up and cut it into squares and playfully patted the dough onto the bottom of the skillet. This was fun, like playing with Play-Doh. Next we made a quick tomato-based pasta sauce using a 12 ounce can of Del Monte’s traditional spaghetti sauce, doctored up with Italian herbs, roasted garlic from a jar and some garlic salt. We popped the crust into the oven and prebaked it for three minutes. When it was finished, we layered the ground beef, then the sauce, and topped it with an Italian cheese blend. We baked it for about 25 minutes; toward the end, the cheese was getting too brown so we covered the skillet with foil. Our mouths watered as we pulled it out of the oven.

There was some pizza dough left over and in a spontaneous moment we rolled it into a ball and played catch in the kitchen. It felt so good to laugh and play! Our creation turned out differently than Sunny’s, but it was still tasty. I will make this the next time Sunny comes to visit to see if she even recognizes it.