Mangled Pepperoni Pizza

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Mangled Pepperoni PizzaThe one problem with pizza is that it’s just too neat, too put together. No one and no food is that organized. Pizza should reflect life and embody a reality that we’re all dealing with. Troubles at work? Bills to pay? Dog jumping on the guests? Glasses prescription getting worse? Hair thinning quickly? My aching back!? But, I digress. This is, finally, a (de)construction of pizza that will make you feel like your life is relatively tidy.

  • Yield: 8 Servings
  • Total Time: 3 Hours


  • 5 cups (about 1 lb) crusty bread, cubed
  • 1 lb fresh mozzarella, diced
  • 6 oz pepperoni, diced
  • 4 Tbsp fresh basil, roughly chopped
  • 5 eggs
  • 2 cups half-and-half or milk
  • 1 Tbsp dried oregano
  • 3 Tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated or shredded, divided, plus extra for serving
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup tomato sauce, divided
How to Make It
  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. In a large mixing bowl, toss the bread cubes with mozzarella, pepperoni, and basil. In another mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, half-and-half or milk, oregano, 1 tablespoon of the Parmesan, garlic powder, and salt.
  2. Coat the bottom and sides of a baking dish with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Spread ½ cup of the tomato sauce in the bottom of the baking dish. Evenly pour the bread mixture into the baking dish and level out the top.
  3. Slowly pour the egg mixture evenly over the bread mixture, being sure that some of the liquid reaches most, if not all, of the bread. Use the back of a wooden spoon, a clean hand, or spatula, to compress the whole mixture to ensure that the liquid is evenly distributed.
  4. Spread the remaining ½ cup of the tomato sauce evenly across the top of the mixture. Sprinkle the top of the sauce with the remaining 2 tablespoons of Parmesan, and drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for at least 2 hours (or in the refrigerator overnight).
  5. Remove the plastic wrap and transfer the baking dish to the center rack of the oven. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the top begins to brown and get crusty.
  6. Remove the casserole from the oven and allow it to cool for 10 minutes before slicing and serving. You may want to sprinkle some extra Parmesan over the finished product like any good pizza consumer.

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