Stefano Faita

Pizza Bites with Tomato Dipping Sauce

By In The Kitchen With Stefano Faita


Tomato Dipping Sauce 
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 small onion, roughly chopped
1 garlic clove, roughly chopped or leave whole
1 large carrot, roughly chopped
1 rib celery, roughly chopped
1 small red pepper, roughly chopped
Handful mushrooms, roughly chopped
1 small zucchini, roughly chopped
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, to taste

Pizza Bites
1 pound whole wheat pizza dough, homemade or store-bought
Flour, for rolling
12 (1-inch to 1 1/4-inch) cubes of mozzarella or cheddar cheese
Olive oil, as needed
1/4 cup Grated Parmesan cheese, for topping
Veggie sticks, for serving


Tomato Dipping Sauce 
Heat large saucepan over medium high heat. Add oil. When oil is hot, add onion, garlic, carrot, celery, red pepper, mushrooms and zucchini. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables soften slightly, about 5 to 10 minutes. Add tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer vegetables are tender and sauce has thickened slightly, about 20 to 30 minutes.

Puree until smooth with immersion blender or carefully in batches in a blender. Finish with Parmesan cheese to taste. Serve as a warm dip with the Pizza Bites or use as a sauce for pasta. (Makes about 5 to 6 cups.)

Pizza Bites
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Oil a 9-inch pie pan.

Divide dough into 12 equal pieces. Lightly flour work surface. Roll out each piece of dough into a circle, about 1/4-inch thick. Add cheese cube to each centre. Wrap dough around cheese and pinch the ends to seal. Place on work surface and with palm of your hand and thumb, roll for a rounder shape. Add rolls to prepared pie pan.

Brush each roll with olive oil and then sprinkle with a little Parmesan cheese. Bake until golden brown and dough is cooked through, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Serve Pizza Bites with 1 1/2 cups of the Tomato Dipping Sauce.

Yield: 12 servings.