Wednesday, July 10, 2013

"spaghetti" pizza parcels

these little parcels are easy to eat,
leftovers make a great lunch!
These were inspired by my 11 month old daughter, Madi. She is not the best little eater so meal time is quite the challenge! However, recently we have found that she really loves black beans, and all kids seem to love tomato pasta sauce.  With lean ground beef, tender veggies and a cheesy topping, this combination is definitely a hit. This little parcel uses the same dough as the thin crust pizza.  You can eliminate the beef to make this a vegetarian dish.

what you need:
*makes 18 

  • 1 can black beans (540 mL)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (~400 mL)
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 1 large carrot
  • 2 celery ribs
  • 450 g lean ground beef
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup shredded sharp old cheddar
  • 1 egg 
  • 1/3 cup flour 
  • 3 thin crust pizza doughs (if they were made ahead and frozen, take them out to thaw while you make the filling)
what to do:

  1. Prepare veggies (celery, onion, carrot) - wash thoroughly, remove peel from onion and carrot, then dice into small cubes.  Set aside in a bowl.
  2. In a large pot over medium heat, warm olive oil then add diced onion, carrot and celery.  Sauté for 5-10 minutes, stirring often and allowing veggies to soften and lightly brown.
  3. Finely chop garlic and add to the pot, sauté for another minute.
  4. Add ground beef, breaking up into small pieces with a wooden spoon.  Continue sautéing and stirring, about 5 minutes.  Season with salt (~1/2 tsp) and freshly ground black pepper.
  5. Drain and rinse black beans.
  6. Add diced tomatoes, black beans, tomato paste and oregano.  Stir to mix evenly, then put lid over pot and turn heat down to medium-low.  
  7. Allow this to simmer for 45 minutes, occasionally mixing and checking to avoid burning at the bottom.  
  8. After 45 minutes, lift lid and simmer for another 5 minutes.  Excess liquid will evaporate and allow filling to thicken so that the pizza parcels won't be soggy.  Transfer to bowl to cool to room temperature.
pizza parcel assembly
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.  
  3. Crack egg into a small bowl and beat with a fork.  Get cheddar cheese ready.
  4. While filling is cooling, sprinkle work surface generously with flour (to avoid dough sticking).  Roll out pizza dough until quite thin and somewhat rectangular in shape (doesn't have to be perfect).  Cut into 6 even-ish squares.  
  5. Spoon about 2 tbsp into the centre of the squares, then pull up all four corners and pinch together.    It's ok if the filling is not completely sealed by the dough.  Transfer parcel onto baking sheet.
  6. Once 6 are on the baking sheet, lightly brush tops of parcel with egg wash and then top with shredded cheese (about 1 tbsp).  
  7. Place in oven centre rack, bake for 13 minutes, until tops are golden brown.  Remove and allow to cool slightly before serving.  Enjoy!

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