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Saturday, March 12, 2011

Pizza Hoagie

     When I was in college, I loved to go to DaVinci's. I've only ever found them in Ames, Iowa (home of Iowa State University) and Lincoln, Nebraska (home of University of Nebraska). My all-time favorite item on the menu are their  Pizza Hoagie's. Which is pepperoni covered in pizza sauce, melted mozzarella and sprinkled with romano cheese served hot on a hoagie roll. 
     I've experimented with trying to recreate it at home. Mine isn't exactly the same as theirs, but delicious just the same. The first thing I discovered is that the bread must be toasted first. If you don't, the bread just ends up soggy after you add the sauce. Almost any bread roll could be used for this. Use whatever you have. The only thing I wouldn't recommend is traditional sandwich bread as it's rather thin and spongy and wouldn't hold up to a lot of broiling and fillings. You could use bakery rolls in any shape, or even leftover hamburger or hot dog buns. I used 6 inch long steak rolls as it's what I had handy.
     Cut your roll in half, butter and toast lightly under the broiler. You want it crisp and light brown but not too toasty because it'll have to go back under the broiler once more and you don't want it to get too hard. 
     For the sauce, any spicy tomato sauce works. Use whatever you have leftover or on hand. Could be pizza sauce, spaghetti sauce, or marinara sauce, store bought or homemade. Use as much pepperoni as you would like in your sandwich, whether that's a little or a lot. On their website Davinci's says they use romano cheese. I use traditional pizza cheese, ie. mozzarella. Today I used sundried tomato and basil mozzarella cheese, and spaghetti sauce as that's what I had in the house.

Pizza Hoagie

Hoagie bread roll

Cut bread roll in half. Do the following to the inside on both sides of the roll. Spread with butter and toast under the broiler. Spoon sauce and spread over roll. Top with pepperoni and cheese. Return to the broiler until the cheese is nice and bubbly and a little brown on top. Remove from oven. Carefully put both sides of the sandwich back together. Cut on the diagonal and serve hot.

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