This is like a quick mini pizza, and with the combination of the tomato broth, and the gooey mozzarella cheese, these babies are a definite crowd pleaser. They’re relatively quick to make, and great for a light lunch, out on the porch, along with a small side salad.
1Chef’s Note: Although this is not a very difficult recipe, the production of the tomato broth is the most time-consuming part. If you have a particular favorite pizza or tomato sauce of your own (even if it’s canned), you could substitute it here. However, I would recommend that you try this particular tomato broth, at least once… It’s pretty good.
2Gather all your ingredients
3MAKING THE SAUCE
4Put the olive oil into a sauté pan, over medium-high heat.
5Chef's Note: If using the Italian sausage, reduce the olive oil to 1 tablespoon.
6When it begins to shimmer, add the ground Italian sausage, the onion, the garlic, the cayenne, and then sauté for about 5 minutes, or until onions soften. Do not let the onions brown.
7Add the wine, to deglaze the pan, and then reduce the heat to a simmer.
8Allow it to simmer until the wine is mostly evaporated, about 3 to 5 minutes.
9Chef’s Note: Keep an eye on the pan, and don’t let it go dry.
10Add the tomatoes, the chicken broth, plus the red wine vinegar.
11Bring to the boil, and then reduce, and continue to simmer for an additional 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. The tomatoes should now be broken up into the sauce.
12Add the salt, pepper, and lemon juice, and continue to simmer for 3 minutes.
13FINISHING THE DISH
14While the broth is simmering, brush some olive oil on both sides of the French bread, and place under the broiler for a few minutes on each side until nice and brown.
15Add the mozzarella slices to the tomato broth, and let them sit until softened, about 3 to 4 minutes.
16Chef’s Note: Traditional mozzarella is made from water buffalo milk, and its flavor is highly prized. It’s sold at most grocery stores, so give it a try, if you can. In addition, it’s not made from American buffalos; they’re water buffalos, raised mostly in Southern Italy. The best is designated: Mozzarella di bufala campana.
17Place the bread on four individual plates, and carefully lift one of the slices of mozzarella from the pan to the bread. Repeat for the other three bread slices.
18Drizzle more of the tomato broth around, and on the bread, and sprinkle with some fresh Parmesan cheese.
19Chef’s note: At this point you could add some herbs, such as: oregano, or basil.