Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Mac n' Cheese Pizza

Ok, I'll admit. This looks like a heart attack on a plate. But, we all have our cravings. My motto is that it's all about portion control.

Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/smiteme/5800123159/

You'll Need:

For the dough:
1 cup warm water (110 degrees F / 45 degrees C)
1 tablespoon sugar
2 1/4 tablespoons active dry yeast
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
For the mac & cheese:
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup velveeta
2 cups uncooked macaroni (mini shells are my personal fave!)
4 tablespoons butter
12 oz  milk
Cornmeal or cooking spray with which to coat the pizza stone or pizza pan
Olive oil or cooking spray to lightly coat the dough
Several strips of bacon, chopped


Prepare the dough!

1. Stir the water, sugar and yeast together until dissolved. Add the olive oil and salt, as well as any extra spices or seasonings. Stir in the flour until blended. Form the dough into a small ball and let rest in large bowl, covered loosely with a towel, anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours.

Make the cheese sauce!

2. Once the dough is done rising and you’re ready to assemble the pizza, get to work on the cheese sauce. In a medium-sized saucepan, bring the soy milk to a boil.

3. Reduce the heat to medium and mix in the butter, stirring until melted.

4. Add the two cheeses, stirring gently until they combine with the liquid to form a creamy cheese sauce. The soupier the better, as the oven baking will thicken it up quite a bit.

Optional: season to taste with salt, pepper, onion or garlic.

5. Reduce the heat to low, stirring every few minutes.

6. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Make the pasta!

7. In a deep skillet or wide, shallow sauce pan, cook the pasta according to the directions provided on the package. Stop when about 90% done and drain, leaving a little hot water with the pasta. (This will mostly cook down as you continue to heat the pasta.)

Combine the two to make mac and cheese!

8. Mix the cheese sauce into pasta, stirring well. On medium low heat, let the pasta continue to cook until it’s the desired consistency. Stir constantly during this last step so that none of the pasta or cheese sticks to the pan.

9. As the pasta is cooking, spread a dusting of cornmeal onto your pizza stone (or lightly coat your pizza pan with cooking spray). Using fingers dipped in olive oil (optional), pat the dough onto the stone, spreading it out evenly. Lightly dust a bit of olive oil on top of the dough, or spray it with a bit of cooking spray.

10. Next, sprinkle a little extra cheese on the crust to taste. Then add the mac & cheese, spreading it out evenly on the pizza pie. If it’s a bit on the soupy side, allow it to cool for a few minutes before adding it to the pizza; this will give it time to solidify, but not too much! Top with vegan bacon if desired. (Alternately, you can add the bacon first; this will keep it soft and moist vs. crispy and crunchy.)

11. Bake at 425 degrees, for between 15 and 20 minutes for a single pizza, or 30 minutes for two pizzas.


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