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French Bread Pizza Sandwiches With Sweet Italian Sausage

French Bread Pizza Sandwiches With Sweet Italian Sausage

  • Yield: 4 sandwiches


  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
  • 1 loaf French or Italian bread, about 22 inches long
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds sweet Italian sausage, casings removed, crumbled
  • 2 cups Emeril's Kicked Up Tomato sauce or other marinara sauce
  • 8 ounces mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 8 ounces fontina cheese, grated
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme, for serving (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red-pepper flakes, for serving (optional)
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese for serving (optional)
  • Extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling (optional)


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper for easier cleanup.

  • Melt butter in a small pan and combine with garlic, salt, lemon juice, and parsley.

  • Cut bread in half, and slice horizontally to make four sections. Using your fingers, gently scoop and discard some of the soft inner part of the thickest bread, leaving a one-inch-thick shell. Brush shells with garlic butter and place them on prepared baking sheet.

  • Heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add sausage and cook, stirring as needed, until browned and fat is rendered, about 8 minutes. Remove sausage from pan with a slotted spoon to drain; set aside.

  • Divide sauce evenly among bread pieces and spread with a spoon. Divide mozzarella and fontina evenly among over sauce. Top with sausage, then thyme, red-pepper flakes, and Parmesan, if desired. Place bread in the oven and bake for 8 to 10 minutes until hot and bubbly. Serve immediately, drizzled with extra virgin olive oil, if desired.