Friday, December 5, 2014

Pesto Pita Pizza and Creamy Pesto Salad with Mezzetta Memories

Thanks to Mezzetta for sponsoring today's discussion.

 I am a pizza junkie. There, I said it. I'm proud of it too. I've always loved it and always will. But my husband isn't quite as big of a fan. He likes the occasional pizza just fine, but since our oldest daughter will only eat pepperoni pizza, he is really done with it. He wants something a little more sophisticated, enter Mezzetta recipes.

Pita pizzas, using Mezzetta have been a lifesaver. Two of my husband's biggest criticisms of pizza are the thickness of the crust and the taste of the sauce. Pita pizzas resolve both problems. He gets the thin, crispy crust he likes, and pitas really allow for a variety of sauces.

One of our favorite pita pizzas is a pesto pizza. This pizza has delicious toppings and is incredibly filling, yet doesn't feel heavy. Using pesto as a sauce adds a richness to the flavor and makes you feel like you're eating something new and exciting, especially for a pizza.
Best of all, it's quick and easy to make.

My husband also likes variety with his meals. He usually wants some sort of a side, often just a vegetable. But pizza begs for something unique. A perfect pairing is a creamy pesto pasta. It's a great cold salad that complements the flavors in the pizza.



You can get both recipes below.

Pesto Pita Pizza

INGREDIENTS
A pita for each person
2 chicken breasts
Shredded mozzarella cheese
Spinach, chopped
Olives, sliced
5 bacon strips
1-2 Roma tomatoes
Mezzetta Pesto (You can find a .50 off any Mezzetta coupon here.)
Mezzetta Olive oil
Garlic salt
Oregano

DIRECTIONS

  1. Begin by baking your bacon. Yes, baking. It's the best. Lay the strips of bacon on a cookie sheet and bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes. Flip each piece of bacon and cook for 5 more minutes. Remove the bacon and pat dry with a paper towel.
  2. Boil the chicken breasts until cooked through. Remove from the water and place in a Kitchen-Aid blender. Use the attachment to shred the chicken. Pour in enough olive oil to add a light coating to the chicken and allow it to more easily move around in the bowl. Sprinkle garlic salt and oregano to taste. Mix well.

  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Place each pita on a pizza tray or cookie sheet. Spread olive oil lightly over the pizza, being sure to go all the way to the edges. Next, add pesto and spread well.

  1. Add the toppings: mozzarella cheese, shredded chicken, spinach, tomatoes, olives and bacon. Sprinkle a little more oregano on top for color.

  1. Bake the pizzas for 5-10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the sides of the pita are crisp.

Creamy Pesto Salad


INGREDIENTS
1/2 pkg mini rotini
1 Tbsp. Greek yogurt
2 Tbsp. sour cream
Black pepper
3 green onions, sliced
Olives, sliced
Cherry tomatoes, halved
4-6 oz. mozzarella cheese, cubed
15-20 slices pepperoni, cut into eighths

DIRECTIONS
  1. Cook the pasta according to package instructions.

  1. Drain the pasta and pour cold water over it until the pasta is cold.

  1. In a separate bowl, combine the pesto, Greek yogurt and sour cream. Add a heavy dose of black pepper and mix well. (Note: You can adjust the quantities of Greek yogurt and sour cream. We struggle with too strong of a Greek yogurt flavor, but if you really like it you might adjust for more Greek yogurt and less sour cream.)
  2. Pour the sauce over the pasta and mix well. 
  3. Add the remaining ingredients and stir in.
  4. Top with black pepper.

This is a lighter meal, but still filling. It's great in the summer and even better in the winter as a way to mix up the traditional winter dishes, which can often be heavy.

I love creating with Mezzetta products because they are of the highest quality and right now through the end of the month, you can go here daily and enter to win a Mezzetta gift basket so you can try the products for yourself. The prize includes:

• 100% Italian Estate Grown Extra Virgin Olive Oil
• Golden Greek Peperoncini
• Garlic Stuffed Olives
• Castelvetrano Olives
• Pitted Greek Kalamata Olives
• Roasted Marinated Red & Yellow Sweet Bell Peppers
• Cocktail Onions
• 1 Apron (from House Party contents)
• 1 Metal Olive Spoon (from House Party contents)
• 1 Tote Bag (from House Party contents)
• 1 Ceramic Bowl

Everything you need to create your own holiday feast!
What is your favorite holiday meal?
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