Unfold puff pastry sheet onto a lightly floured surface. Roll out into a 12-inch square. Crimp (using a fork) edges and place on prepared baking sheet. Spread pesto evenly over puff pastry. Sprinkle with half the mozzarella and half the parmesan. Sprinkle on garlic. Add tomatoes. Top with remaining cheese.

Bake 17 to 20 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from oven and garnish with fresh basil, if desired. Makes six servings or two squares each.

'Stuffed' phyllo pizza

This pizza layers phyllo sheets with a yummy cheese mixture so the flavors permeate the whole thing. It's a bit complicated, so read the directions before plunging in.


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Still, the only think-ahead work you have to do is remove the phyllo dough from the freezer in the morning and thaw it in the fridge. Even then, you can probably cheat a little by thawing it at room temperature for an hour or so.

Our topping is a version of the original Neapolitan creation, Pizza Margherita. But, since we're using phyllo, which is basically of Greek origins, we use both mozzarella and feta cheeses.

Of course, you can always add some kalamata olives and pepperoni, for additional Greco-Italo tastes.

Cooking spray

About 2 teaspoons cornmeal, for dusting

2/3 cup each, shredded (part-skim) mozzarella and finely crumbled feta cheese (reduced fat works well)

1/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

6 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon coarse black pepper

1/8 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes

10 (18- by 14-inch) sheets frozen phyllo dough, thawed

2 cups very thinly sliced plum tomatoes, drained well on paper towels

1/3 cup thinly sliced scallions

1/3 cup fresh basil leaves

Heat oven to 375 degrees. In a bowl, combine mozzarella, feta and parmesan cheeses, plus oregano, salt, black and red peppers.

Cut phyllo sheets in half crosswise. Keep phyllo sheets you're not using covered with wax paper and a kitchen towel to keep them from drying out.

Lightly coat a baking sheet with spray coating, then dust with some cornmeal. Place one phyllo sheet on the baking sheet. Add two more layers of phyllo sheets, lightly spray coating in between. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of the cheese mixture.

Repeat layers (but not the spray-coating) five more times (3 phyllo sheets, 2 tablespoons of the cheese mixture), then topping the whole with the last two phyllo sheets. Coat the top two sheets with cooking spray, then sprinkle on 2 tablespoons of the cheese mixture.

Arrange tomato slices on top of the phyllo sheets. Sprinkle on 2 tablespoons of the cheese mixture, leaving a 2-inch border. Sprinkle with scallions, and remaining cheese mixture. Bake for 17 minutes. Sprinkle basil leaves over pizza, return to oven and bake 3 to 5 minutes longer.

Makes 6 servings.