Every time I see my physician, he feels obligated to comment on my girth. It's part of his job. "We need to get you some aerobic exercise."
I've given up on telling him that between my job, walking, playing tennis, and other pleasant diversions, I get quite a bit of exercise. I owe my impressive belly to my addiction to Italian food, especially pizza.
So, what, pray tell, could be more delicious, more decadent, and more infuriating to good old Doctor Burnett than a delightful synthesis of pizza and a sandwich? That's actually a rhetorical question, don't fell obligated to answer—I mean, unless you want to. Look, just read on!
Really good bread is paramount! I use a kaiser roll or a good quality hoagie/grinder/submarine sandwich roll. A good croissant would probably work as well. You can also make this recipe with bagels, but that is another node entirely.
Sauce: I use a jar of high-quality marinara and spice it up with a dash of extra garlic, oregano, and lots of black pepper.
A Note on Commercial Pizza Sauces: Where I live, I can not find any commercial pizza sauces that taste good: they all taste like ketchup, cocktail sauce (eww!), or they are way too sweet. If you find one you like, by all means, go for it.
There is also absolutely nothing keeping you from making your own pizza sauce from fresh tomatoes, oregano, parsley, basil, rosemary, garlic, etc. etc. However, I find that a bit too much like work, so I prefer the method outlined above.
Cheese: It's pizza! Get some of the good Italian stuff: mozzarella, parmesan, romano...that kind of thing. If you are feeling adventurous, maybe even some of that fancy goat cheese.
Toppings: What do you like on your pizza?
Sausage, pepperoni, garlic, olives, onions, or those fishy little salt bombs, perhaps? Anything that will go on pizza will go well on pizza sandwiches.
How to Make it
Cut your bread (if needed) and place it in the oven to toast—I find about 400° F (or about 200° Celsius) does the trick, although your results may vary. While it is toasting, place your sauce and spices into a saucepan and heat it up, stirring frequently. If you are in a hurry, you can omit heating the sauce, but it mixes nicer and the flavours all blend well if heated. Extra sauce can be refrigerated or frozen for more pizza sandwiches.
Once the bread is beginning to get golden and toasty, apply a layer of pizza sauce, then heap on the cheese, toppings, and more cheese as desired. Place back into the already-hot oven (you might want to accomplish all of this on a baking sheet or something, to avoid messes), and leave it to melt the cheese and get the sauce nice and hot. About five minutes should do the trick.
Serve hot and open-faced. Maybe have a salad or something so you don't feel quite so guilty...and don't blame me of your physician says something about your weight!
Notes for making it quick and easy, for the Lazy Slob in us all
This is an ultra easy recipe, and can be made in about five minutes. But it can be even easier if you can't be bothered to mess up a pan or pre-heat the oven. Skip the toasting step, or use a toaster (or toaster oven). Don't cook the sauce in a pan, just slather in on, grind some pepper, squish a bit of garlic on there, layer on the cheese and toppings and pop it in the microwave. Voila! A pizza sandwich in under five minutes. Skip the salad and serve it with some Doritos!