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09 March 2013

Mac n' Cheese Pizza

Call me odd- but I never heard of Cici's Pizza until I moved to Texas. Yes, we do have them in California. When the hubby and I started dating, I was intrigued and asked to eat there one day, when craving some pizza. I had no idea it was a buffet- not the best place for a "date," but we had been dating just long enough, where it was not too awkward and we could laugh it off. The hubby knew it was a buffet and had been there with his college friends but not me- but I think he did not have to the heart to ask me why I would ask him to take me on a date to a pizza buffet.

Well since we were there- I thought I would give it a try, since the hubby seemed like a fan. And man can he eat- so it worked out well ;) When I was there- one of the pizzas that they offered was a mac n' cheese pizza. I remember thinking how interesting that combination was- and when I tried it, I immediately went to pizza heaven. The hubby and I continued to go there, occasionally afterwards. After moving to College Station we had not really gone to Cici's until New Year's Eve- when the hubby brought home some Mac n' Cheese pizza from Cici's for me enjoy. If you remember, we could not really go out because Ninja had just had his leg surgery.

And then- when I was shopping one day at Kroger the other month I had stumbled upon Tony's Mac n' Cheese pizza and it immediately made me think of Cici's and although Tony's Frozen Pizza is not the classiest- it tasted even better than Cici's! Well after that I was hooked and had it in me to just figure out if I could make it myself. I mean it seemed simple enough right? Pizza dough? Mac n' Cheese? Stick them together. With a little bit of searching, I found the perfect recipe and thought I would go for it! It was so yummy! I could eat the whole pizza in one sitting- if not for the hubby stealing pizza slices while I was not looking ;) I hope you enjoy it! I know this would be a definite kid favorite! 

I recommend for busy moms to make the pizza dough in advance. The dough recipe that  I share makes enough dough for two crusts. So I always make the recipe and keep the extra dough in the freezer for a busy day. The rest of making this pizza is a cinch and will not take long at all! 

Adapted from Food.Com


Preheat Oven to 400F Degrees

1 1/3 c. warm water
1/4 c. non-fat dry milk
1/2 tsp. salt
1 (4oz) package of yeast
2 tbsp. olive oil
3-4 c. flour

3/4 c. elbow pasta 
1 jar of Ragu double cheddar cheese sauce
2 tbsp. of butter
pinch of salt


For the Pizza Crust: 

In a small bowl combine warm water, dry milk, salt, and yeast. Whisk together and let sit for 3-5 minutes (until it begins to bubble at the top), then add in oil and allow to sit for another minute. Then in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with dough hook- mix into 3 c. of flour.  Slowly add in the last c. until the dough comes together. If it is too dry add more warm water or if too wet add more flour. Place in large bowl coated with cooking spray and cover. Allow to sit for 1-2 hours. When dough has risen, "punch" dough to deflate. Cut dough in half, wrap one of the halves in saran wrap, and freeze for future use. Grease pizza pan.  Roll remaining dough (the half not frozen) onto a 12 inch pizza pan. Poke holes in crust with fork and brush dough with olive oil. Bake for 5-10 minute until begins to bubble slightly on top. Remove from oven. 

For Pizza Toppings:
In a medium pot, over medium heat, cook pasta according to package directions- approximately 7-8 minutes until al dente. Drain excess water and run cold water through the pasta to prevent sticking. 

While pasta is cooking in a small saucepan combine 1/2 the jar of Ragu cheese sauce, butter and salt, over medium heat. Continue to stir until butter has melted.

To Make Pizza:
Using a spoon spread a thin layer of cheese sauce over the entire pizza dough. Bake for 15 minutes until almost cooked and slightly browned on the edges. 

Remove pasta from oven- evenly distribute pasta over the pizza crust. Then pour remaining mixture over the pasta, spreading sauce evenly over pizza  using a spatula. Bake for an additional 10 minutes. 

Allow pizza to cool slightly before cutting!

Enjoy your little slice of pizza heave ;)

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