I’m writing this in hot, humid July. Just for background. Recently I got a hankering for spaghetti and meatballs, one of my favorite meals. Problem was, though I had loads of time on my hands, I didn’t want to heat up the kitchen by making the meatballs and the sauce (at some point I’ll have to provide recipes for both, but both, the sauce especially, are very fly-by-night depending on what I have on hand.) I decided to cheat and sent Forager-in-Chief off to get the ingredients for this. It came out really well. Variations follow at the end.
1 sheet of thawed flatbread dough. The Forager came back with Stonefire, which has flooded the local supermarkets recently. It’s excellent.
A little olive oil
Some oregano, which I had in the spice rack
1 jar of San Marzano roasted garlic marinara sauce. I happen to prefer this but use something similar, since I’m not getting a nickel out of any of my occasional spon con.
1/2 pound of mozzarella, just to be safe
1 bag of Buitoni (are you listening to me, Buitoni?) frozen Italian-Style meatballs. You only need 12 but the bag will contain more. These are the small version, like the size of a golf ball.
A few leaves of basil which I harvested myself from our rooftop herb garden
Preheat an oven to 425 degrees, even though outside it feels like you’re in a preheated oven set to 425 degrees. On a 9X13 baking sheet, roll out the flatbread. The dough probably won’t cover the whole sheet, so center it as best you can, and spritz/brush with a little olive oil. Sprinkle generously with oregano. Bake for 3 minutes. Take it out and spoon a layer of the marinara sauce over this but not too thick. Leave a border around the edges of the flatbread, maybe about 1″ wide. Shave a generous amount of mozzarella over the sauce. Halve 12 meatballs and place the 24 domes flat-side down evenly on the flatbread.
Put in the oven for about 5–10 minutes. This went very quickly for me, but I think my oven needs to be recalibrated. I think I could roast a 20-lb. turkey in about 20 minutes in that beast. Anyway, when the cheese is nice and melted and maybe a little brown if you like it that way (I do) and the meatballs have warmed through, remove and add diced basil leaves from your convenient rooftop herb garden.
Variations: Instead of the meatballs, use Italian sausage sliced into disks. For the meat-averse, substitute whatever you’d order on a pizza. The Stonefire flatbread came in a 2-pack, so in the interests of research and out of sheer gluttony I made this the following night but I had some mushrooms and green peppers to use up, so I subbed in those to good results, but I cooked it a little less because the mushrooms started to crisp to the point of burning. Just to torture you all I’m going to make a “Hawaiian” flatbread pizza at some point because I like those. My cellmate thinks I’m insane but he can go munch on a granola bar or something while I enjoy the ham, pineapple, and jalapeño goodness.