Cup O Pizza by Ben

Ben is Matt’s cousin on his mother’s side.  Ben and Matt together in the same room is EPIC.  They are so funny, witty and pretty darn charming.  I cannot explain the dynamic between these two but not time nor distance will ever change the connection these two have.  Ben lives in St.Augustine with his lovely wife Beth and their “cutest kid ever” Zoey.  He knows I love to get new ideas and recipes!  So he texted me…then he had to email me because the texts alone don’t work for me.  I need more information…actually I require more information when I am following someone’s else “fly by the seat of their pants’ recipe”.

Cup O Pizza by Ben

Ben said he calls this dish Cup O Pizza from a movie scene in The Jerk with Steve Martin.  I think that it’s fitting but Matt had to analyze the fact that it is not in an actual cup…I don’t care…it works for me!  Let’s call it a giant cup!  Or heck, serve it in a cup like Ben suggested!


1 pound chicken or turkey sausage, removed from casing (I had spicy Turkey but use what you like)

1 4.5-ounce bag pepperoni (I actually had Turkey Pepperoni….which I don’t tell my peeps…don’t judge)

1 24-ounce jar of your favorite marinara sauce

1 cup sliced mushrooms (optional…not in Ben’s original plans…I am a rebel!)

1 pound fresh mozzarella cut into 2-inches cubes

1 teaspoon chili powder (or to taste)

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1 tablespoon dried basil

1 teaspoon hot sauce

1/2 pound small pasta (cooked al dente)

1 container store bought pizza dough

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon fresh basil

1 tablespoon fresh oregano (I had to skip because I forgot to buy some)

1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

How to:

Preheat your oven to 415 degrees F.

In a large Dutch oven brown your turkey or chicken sausage breaking it up as it cook into large chunks.  Cook until no longer pink.  Add your pepperoni, mushrooms, chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, dried oregano, dried basil and hot sauce.  Stir to cover your sausage and pepperoni with all the spices.  Add your marinara sauce and combine well.  Add your mozzarella pieces, all but about 1/2 cup (keep that to the side)  and your pasta, stir everything well and put in your preheated oven for 10 minutes.  Remove dish from your oven and top with the remaining cheese.  Using your best tools (your hands) stretch out  and shape your pizza dough to fit over everything.

the sauce is coming together quite nicely

more cheese please….then here comes the topper 🙂

Drizzle the olive oil over the dough, add your fresh herbs and sprinkle the Parmesan cheese.  Put back in your oven for about 15 minutes or until golden brown.

the dough…I love pizza dough!

oh my goodness the smell is amazing!

Serve and Enjoy!

Dig in and enjoy!

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Note: Ben says you could shred your mozzarella cheese as well but you won’t have lovely chunks of cheese floating through your dish…which we all know would be very very sad!

Another note: Bear and Matt felt it was a bit too cheesy, Sunshine and I didn’t…you may reduce if you want…but it’s a “Pizza”…pizzas have a lot of cheese, don’t they?

Peace and Cups,


Please come check out my recipe also on this lovely site:


Stuffed Mozzarella Meatballs

I can be a real pain in the butt.

Isn’t that a nice way to start a post about meatballs?

But it’s true and I have to be honest.  When I get an idea in my head, it is really difficult for me not get my way….OK I see how this sounds very selfish but believe me when I tell you I am not a selfish person…I am somewhat weird and unyielding but not selfish.  Here’s the deal, by noon today (while at work) I had made up my mind that I needed to workout, have the meatballs ready (and cooking), returned all emails, showered and in my PYJAMAS by 6:15pm, in order be able to eat dinner in my pj’s!

Mission accomplished!

Here’s why: we got back from Florida on Sat. (well really Sunday 1am!) and we haven’t stopped.  The weather has turned in Indiana to cold, so cold that I had to turn on the heat.  I did yell at the weatherman this morning…I did later apologize but it was embarrassing for both our dogs!  I miss my nephews, I miss my sweet Janine who is going through so much and I wish I was closer to help her… OK it’s a pity party…but it’s MY pity party…I will be over it by the morning.

Stuffed Mozzarella Meatballs over Linguine


For the meatballs:

2 lb ground beef

2 eggs

1 garlic clove crushed and finely diced

salt and pepper (to taste)

1 tablespoon dry oregano

1 tablespoon dry basil

3/4 cup breadcrumbs (Italian style if you have)

1/2 to 3/4 lb fresh mozzarella cut into 1/2-inch cubes

For the sauce:

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium onion finely diced

1 garlic clove crushed and finely chopped

1/4 cup red wine (dry if possible)

1 26-28-ounce jar tomato sauce (any favorite will work)

1 14.5-ounce can small diced tomatoes

1 6-ounce can tomato paste

1 tablespoon dry oregano

1 tablespoon dry basil

Salt and Pepper (to taste)

Parmesan Cheese (for serving)

Fresh Basil (for serving)

Cooked Pasta (if making the whole recipe you will need 2 lb)

How to:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with Silpat or parchment paper.  Set aside.

For your meatballs, simply put all the ingredients, except the mozzarella cubes, in a large bowl and using the best tools ever: your hands!  Combine everything well.  Using a large scoop (or spoon), scoop the meatball and make an indentation to put your mozzarella.  Carefully close the ball so the cheese doesn’t ooze out while baking.

like a little dimple of delicious cheese

you could also do the assembly line (sounds like a line dancing song!)

Put all your meatballs on your prepared baking sheet.  Put in your preheated oven for 25 minutes.  Remove and keep warm.  Some cheese might have escaped the magical little bundle of joy but that’s OK…it will still taste amazing!

ready for the oven!

mmmm smells delicious!

For the sauce:  in a large saucepan heat your olive oil.  Add your onions and garlic.  Cook on medium low heat for about 5 minutes until soft and fragrant.  Add your wine and reduce until almost gone.  Add your tomato sauce, diced tomatoes (and juices), tomato paste, oregano, basil, salt and pepper.  Bring this to a gentle boil and reduce to a simmer.  Let this cook for 20-30 minutes.

oh my goodness, this is so perfect already....yummmmmy

Add your warm meatballs to your sauce.  Don’t over mix with the sauce, you don’t want to break up the meatballs.

now we are getting somewhere!

To serve simply top your pasta with the sauce, some meatballs, more sauce, fresh Parmesan and a chiffonade of basil.

ready, set, eat....scrumptious!

Dive in, relax and ignore the fact that your family might be somewhat tired of the pjs for dinner!

Note: I like to make big meatballs for this recipe, simply because of the delicious fresh cheese hiding inside!

Note #2: this makes a LOT…feel free to cut in half….although you will be missing out on some amazing leftovers! 🙂

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Peace and Pity Party,


Find recipe also here: