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Pizza Night! “Meatball” Pizza with Roasted Zucchini

Active Time: 45 minutes / Cook Time: 50 minutes / Total Time: 60 minutes

Makes 4 servings

Pizza Night! Meatball Pizza with Roasted Zucchini.JPG

Ingredients:

  • For the crust:
    • 2 ¼ cups garbanzo bean flour, sifted
    • 2 ¼ cups water
    • 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
    • ¾ teaspoon sea salt
  • For the “meatballs,” sauce, and remaining toppings:
    • ½ tablespoon coconut oil
    • ¼ cup diced onion
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt
    • ½ lb. ground beef
    • ¾ teaspoon dried oregano
    • ¾ teaspoon dried basil
    • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
    • 15 oz. crushed tomatoes
    • 2 cups chopped spinach (baby or mature are both fine here)
    • 1 cup shredded mozzarella, divided
    • 2 tablespoons finely shredded parmesan cheese
  • For the zucchini:
    • 2 medium zucchini, cut in half crosswise and each half cut into quarters lengthwise (16 pieces)
    • 2 teaspoons coconut oil, melted
    • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
    • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
    • 2 teaspoons grated OR finely shredded parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. Combine all of the crust ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk to combine. You can also do this in your blender. Set aside while you make the meat sauce.
  2. Heat coconut oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and salt and cook, stirring often, until onions begin to soften, about 6-8 minutes. Add a tablespoon of water if the vegetables are browning too quickly.
  3. Add the ground beef and use a wooden spoon to break it up into little pieces. Cook, stirring occasionally, 6-8 minutes, or until the beef is browned and cooked through.
  4. Add the oregano, basil, red pepper flakes, and tomatoes and bring to a low boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer 10 minutes, while you prepare the zucchini. The sauce should be very thick. Stir in the spinach until wilted.
  5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, toss the zucchini with 2 teaspoons coconut oil, ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper, and 2 teaspoons parmesan cheese. Transfer the zucchini in a single layer to the prepared baking sheet and place on the bottom rack of the oven.
  6. Place the top oven rack about 6” from the broiler, and turn on the oven's broiler.
  7. Line a 10 X 12-inch square baking tray** with all natural parchment paper. Use your hands to mold the parchment around corners, and cut to fit the baking dish as best you can.
  8. Whisk the crust ingredients again and pour liquid flatbread crust into your prepared baking tray.
  9. Place in the oven for about 8 minutes. Be careful here, and watch the entire time. Each oven is different, and times may vary. The crust is done when it starts to look crispy around the edges and lightly browned throughout. If your broiler does not have a flame, your crust will not get as browned.
  10. Once cool enough to handle, flip the parchment paper over so that the crust is now crispy side down on the baking tray. Carefully peel off the parchment paper.
  11. Check on the zucchini; it should not be taking on too much color. If it is, flip the pieces.
  12. Using an oven mitt, lower the top rack into the middle position. Return the crust to the oven to crisp, about 5 minutes. Again, watch the crust closely so it does not burn. Once lightly browned, remove crust and reduce the heat to 350 F.
  13. Sprinkle ½ cup mozzarella on the crust, and spoon on the meat sauce evenly to within 1/2” of the edge, leaving as much watery liquid in the skillet as possible. Top the pizza evenly with the remaining ½ cup mozzarella and the 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese. Bake for 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbling slightly.
  14. The zucchini should be tender and lightly browned by now. If not, move it to the top rack and let cook another 5-10 minutes.
  15. Cut the pizza into 10 pieces.
  16. Serve 4 pieces of zucchini with up to 3 pieces of pizza per person.
  17. Package remaining pizza and zucchini for lunches tomorrow.

**If you have an oven-safe 12” skillet, (cast iron is ideal) skip the baking tray and use the skillet for the pizza, flipping it in step 10 with tongs and a spatula, and then removing the parchment.