Carl DeCook
Carl DeCook

 

Baked Pizza Dip
Ingredients List
                  Butter (to grease the baking dish)
                  1 cup Chunky Tomato Sauce (recipe below)
                  8 oz Neufchatel cheese or cream cheese, at room temperature            
                    1 cup ricotta cheese
                  1/2 teaspoon dried Italian herb seasoning               
                  1/4 teaspoon salt            
                  1/4 teaspoon garlic powder       
                  1 sprig fresh parsley (optional; for garnish)
                  Crackers or bread (for serving)

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Chunky Tomato Sauce:

Yields about 1 cup

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, with about 1/3 of the juice drained off (I used Redpack)

3 tablespoons tomato paste (I used Redpack)

1/2 teaspoon dried Italian herb seasoning

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

Pinch black pepper

 Directions

Preheat oven to 400F; grease the bottom and sides of an 8 by 8-inch casserole dish with butter. Make the Chunky Tomato Sauce (recipe below).

Mix together the Neufchatel, ricotta, half the mozzarella (reserving the remaining half to sprinkle on top), Italian herb seasoning, salt, and garlic powder. Spread in the prepared dish, then spread the Chunky Tomato Sauce on top; sprinkle on the remaining half of the mozzarella.

Bake (uncovered) until the cheese is bubbling and golden brown in places, about 25 to 30 minutes. Chop the parsley leaves and sprinkle on top of the dip, if using. Serve with crackers or bread.

 

Chunky Tomato Sauce:

Preheat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat; add the garlic and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add the tomato, tomato paste, Italian herb seasoning, sugar, salt, and pepper, and cook until thickened, about 5 minutes, stirring frequently and using a wooden spoon to break up the tomato pieces a bit. Cool slightly, and then use to make Baked Pizza Dip (or eat it tossed with pasta — delicious!).