Easy-to-make pizzadillas deliver bold Italian flavors

DINNER TONIGHT

October 25, 2006|By Renee Enna | Renee Enna,CHICAGO TRIBUNE

What happens when Italian flavors get caught up in an easy-to-make quesadilla? Let's call it a pizzadilla. There are so many bold flavors in this dish, you can skip the pepperoni to make it meatless - or use a vegetarian pepperoni instead.

Serve the wedges with an antipasto platter that accommodates diners' appetites. Go heavy on the cured meats - mortadella, capicolla and salami, for instance - or opt for a lighter touch with an emphasis on vegetables - celery, cherry tomatoes, pepperoncini. In either case, a light Italian vinaigrette is a good complement.

Light-as-air pizzelles, Italian wafer cookies that are easy to find in supermarkets and Italian shops, will satisfy your sweet tooth.

Renee Enna writes for the Chicago Tribune, which provided the recipe analysis.

Pizzadillas

Serves 4 -- Total time: 24 minutes

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 each, sliced: sweet onion, bell pepper

1/2 cup each: eggplant spread, red-pepper spread (see note)

4 large (10-inch) whole-wheat tortillas or flatbreads

1/4 cup pitted black olives, chopped

1/2 cup shredded Italian-blend cheese

1/4 pound pepperoni, sliced, cut into strips

3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the onion and bell pepper, stirring often, until softened, about 10 minutes.

Spread the eggplant and red-pepper spreads over 2 of the tortillas; top with the olives. Sprinkle with cheese. Place pepperoni strips in pinwheel formation; top with the onions and peppers. Sprinkle with basil; cover with remaining tortillas.

Place tortillas, one at a time, in skillet. Press with plate or spatula until cheese melts, about 2 minutes per side. Gently flip tortilla to brown other side. Cook 2 more minutes. Slice in wedges.

Note: Eggplant spread is sold in Italian and specialty markets as well as the Italian aisle of some supermarkets. Red-pepper spread (also called sweet-pepper spread) is in Middle Eastern markets, Trader Joe's, as well as some supermarkets.

Per serving: 380 calories, 22 grams fat, 7 grams saturated fat, 43 milligrams cholesterol, 32 grams carbohydrate, 14 grams protein, 1,007 milligrams sodium, 7 grams fiber

Menu suggestion

Antipasto platter

Pizzadillas

Pizzelles

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