Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 60 minutes
Serves: 12 servings
Two 10-oz tubes refrigerated pizza crust
1 lb 90% lean ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
One 14-oz jar pasta sauce
3 Tbs tomato paste
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Dash hot sauce, optional
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1. Remove the pizza crusts from refrigerator to bring them to room temperature while you work. Cook beef and onion in a large, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat for 10 minutes, stirring frequently and crumbling the meat with a fork.
2. When the meat is no longer pink, stir in the pasta sauce, tomato paste, sugar, seasonings, and water. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, 25 to 30 minutes until reduced to a thick sauce. Let cool. (You can make the sauce up to 2 days ahead and refrigerate.)
3. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Unroll 1 pizza crust onto a lightly floured surface. With a rolling pin that’s been dusted with flour, roll once or twice in each direction to flatten the dough slightly. Firmly press cookie cutter into the dough and gently pull the surrounding dough away. Place the cutout on a nonstick baking sheet and repeat to use both crusts. Use the leftover dough scraps to make Dipping Sticks. (See below.)
4. Spread 1/2 cup of meat sauce onto each cutout. Sprinkle 2 Tbs of cheese on top of sauce.
5. Bake for 20 minutes or until the crust is deep golden brown and the topping is bubbly.
Twist dough scraps into breadstick shapes and bake them along with the Paper Dolls. Serve with a bowl of warm tomato sauce or your favorite dip. For a fun dessert: Roll twists in cinnamon sugar and bake.
How kids can help: Press out shapes with cookie cutter; spread sauce; sprinkle cheese.
(1/12 recipe) 212 calories, 9.2 g fat (4.1 g saturated), 621.4 mg sodium, 25.2 mg cholesterol.