KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Pizza margherita grilled cheese --it's the most popular recipe on Pinterest with more than a million pins. Local food blogger, Nicole Leggio, says the recipe is actually really easy to make and the kids can even help.
3 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon olive oil, divided
1 large garlic clove, grated
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 (14 oz) can diced San Marzano-style tomatoes with fresh herbs
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons sugar
16 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/4-inch slices
Ciabatta or sourdough bread cut into 1/4-inch slices
1 cup fresh basil leaves
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
In a small sauce pan, heat olive oil and garlic over a medium heat. Saute until softened and fragrant, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add tomato paste, stir to combine. Cook for one minute. Add tomatoes, salt and sugar, whisk until tomato paste is fully incorporated.Simmer for 8-10 minutes until thickened. Set aside to cool.
Heat a large cast-iron skillet or griddle to a medium heat.
Brush bread on both sides with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Toast bread slices on just one side until slightly toasted, work in batches if necessary. Lay bread out with the toasted side up and spread about 2 tablespoons of sauce on half of the slices. Top sauce with a few slices of cheese followed by 4-5 leaves of basil. Cover with second piece of bread, toasted side down.
Place sandwich in a skillet set over a medium heat (work in batches if needed). Cook until golden brown and crispy on each side and the cheese is melted. (If you are having a hard time getting the cheese to melt, pop into a 320 degree oven for a few minutes.
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