Everyone knows about those disaster days where nothing goes as you planned and you completely mess up the dinner schedule. This recipe came from one of those days. First I planned on making some beignets for an afternoon snack from the dough I had frozen earlier. Once it thawed, I realized it was pizza dough, not beignet dough and I had some nice Roma tomatoes that should be used up, so I decided to make pizza.
Of course, I got home later than I had planned to start dinner, then realized that I had no pizza sauce (but I had defrosted some nice chili – reenforcing my “you really need to label the stuff in the freezer” lecture to myself), no pepperoni and it was so late I really didn’t want to wait for the 1/2 hour or so it takes for the pizza stone or iron skillet to heat up before making the pizza. So . . . somewhere, and unfortunately I couldn’t remember where, I had seen a recipe for some garlic rolls where you put some garlic and oil or butter in the bottom of an iron skillet, top it with pieces of dough, kind of like monkey bread, then when it is baked, you flip it over on a plate that looked pretty good so I decided to go with that idea and cross it with a deep dish skillet pizza. I wanted to make it into more of a meal so I added tomatoes and covered the top of the dough with cheese. It was wonderful! Husband asked what it was and I had no answer – if you can think of a better name for it I would be ever so grateful.
We have had it several times since then and I did change it to put the tomatoes and garlic on the top of the dough instead of under it because it makes for a really crispy bottom, was a little easier to get out of the pan and looks more appealing. Each time it was great – as a meal, an appetizer and as a side with pasta. I’ve used pizza dough and frozen dinner roll dough and both worked equally well, although I sort of prefer the pizza dough if you are serving it as a main dish as it is a little more substantial.
3 tbsp olive oil plus more for drizzling
1 package pizza dough or one dozen thawed frozen dough for dinner rolls
1 head garlic minced
3-4 sliced tomatoes (Roma is best)
salt and pepper
1 cup shredded Mozzarella Cheese
1/4 cup shredded fresh basil leaves
Place oil in the bottom of a 10″ iron or oven proof skillet (you could even use a cake pan as long as it had high sides). It should cover the bottom of the pan completely.
Cut the dough into pieces about 1/2-1 inch (if using the rolls, cut each in fourth’s) they can be random shapes. Place the dough in the pan and sprinkle the garlic over the pieces. The dough should come pretty close to covering the bottom of the pan with just a little space between the pieces.
Cover the dough with a layer of sliced tomatoes and drizzle with a little olive oil, salt and pepper.
Cover with Mozzarella
Bake in a 350 degree oven for 35-40 minutes until cheese is bubbling and lightly brown and the rolls in the middle are cooked.
Finally, sprinkle with the fresh basil. Using a spatula, go around the edges to loosen any cheese that might be stuck, then the rolls can be separated and lifted out.