Memory Makers

Pizza burgers for cozy autumn evenings

What is it about Friday night that is so relaxing? The cares of the week are over and the weekend stretches out ahead of us. With a DVD for entertainment and a family-friendly dinner, it is easy to unwind after a busy week.

This pizza burger recipe can be made in large quantities, freezes well and will remind you of a simpler time. I found it in the back of my recipe box and it brought back memories of sock hops and sleepovers. Then it brought memories of my children, cuddling on the couch and watching a family movie.

Whatever your memories, these pizza burgers stand the test of time and invite us to reconnect and slow down on chilly Friday nights.

RECIPE: Pizza Burgers

INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 large minced onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fennel seed
1 tablespoon oregano leaves
1 tablespoon basil leaves
2 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes
2 (6 oz) cans of tomato paste
Hamburger buns
Sliced mozzarella cheese

DIRECTIONS

Brown meat in Dutch oven. Add onion and garlic and cook until they are transparent and the meat is thoroughly browned. Pour off excess fat. Add herbs, tomatoes and tomato paste and simmer covered at least 1 hour. Add salt and pepper to taste. 

Cut hamburger buns in half and brown the open halves until lightly toasted in the broiler. Remove the top half of the hamburger bun from the baking sheet and put a large spoonful of the hot pizza burger mixture on toasted bottom half. Top with a slice of mozzarella cheese and return to the broiler long enough for the cheese to melt. Place burgers on plates, and put the top half of the hamburger bun on sandwich and serve.

Serves approximately 6–8.

Recipe courtesy of Peg Nagler, Lynch’s mother.

Nancy Lynch is a self-taught cook from a family of foodies. She teaches cooking classes at Orange Tree Imports and All Through the House in Stoughton. E-mail your questions, comments or recipe requests to diningin@madisonmagazine.com.

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