Steve Garagiola's bruschetta and pizzetta

Published On: Dec 18 2013 01:05:14 PM EST

Let’s get one thing straight. The French didn’t invent everything that has to do with food.

In France, Bruschetta generally consists of roasted bread slices rubbed with garlic and topped with extra-virgin olive oil, salt and pepper.

In Italy, Bruschetta consists of roasted bread slices topped with a mixture of diced tomatoes, garlic, olive oil and fresh basil. Now, that’s Bruschetta!

While there is some debate over the correct pronunciation, in Italian, ch is pronounced as a “k” sound. So, the Italian version is pronounced brew-SKET-a.

Pizzetta is a variation on the same theme, sort of like baby pizzas on Italian bread slices instead of baked pizza dough. Try using sausage, sun-dried tomatoes, or other vegetables like grilled red peppers, or asparagus tips. Experiment a little. Add a slice of Mozzarella cheese to melt on top. 


6 Roma Tomatoes

2 teaspoons garlic powder

?1?2 teaspoon salt

?1?4 cup extra virgin olive oil

?1?4 cup fresh chopped basil  or 2 tablespoons dried basil)

1 loaf of Italian Bread

Butter or margarine


Prepare the tomatoes first. Remove stem ends and place tomatoes in boiling water for one or two minutes. Now you can easily remove the skins. Dice tomatoes. Don’t use a food processor for this. Put diced tomatoes in a bowl and add garlic powder, olive oil, and basil. Mix and set aside.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Slice the bread on a diagonal (about 1?2 inch thick slices). Butter lightly on both sides. Lay out slices on a cookie sheet and place on top rack in oven for about 5 minutes, until top starts to slightly brown. Turn them over and bake another 5 minutes.?Remove from oven and spoon some of the tomato mixture onto each slice. Serve.?** For a nice twist, top each slice with mozzarella cheese and pop back into the oven for a couple of minutes until cheese melts.?

For pizzetta: prepare bread the same way, but instead of topping with tomatoes, experiment with various meat or vegetable mixtures. Sauté some chopped mushrooms, red peppers, or asparagus in a little Olive oil and basil. Or, try a topping of prosciutto or thin slices of cooked Italian sausage. Finish off with a slice of Mozzarella cheese.  Put the breads back in the oven for 2 or 3 minutes to melt cheese.


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