Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Pizza Night

Didz and I love pizza. There really isn't a time when we aren't in the mood for pizza... for lunch, dinner, or as a late night snack, it always hits the spot. Back home, I got used to making my own pizza dough from scratch.... but yesterday when I was at the grocery store, I spotted pre-made dough next to the pâte brisée, rolled out and rolled up in a box, kind of like plastic wrap. I had no idea if it would taste homemade (or if it would taste any good for for that matter), but I thought I'd give it a shot. 

To make up for the store-bought dough, I made my own pizza sauce. It's super easy - and tastes SO much better than anything you can buy at the store. There's a bunch of recipes out there, but mine goes something like this (sorry in advance that my measurements aren't precise... I suggest you experiment with what works for you):

A whole bunch of tomatoes (see what I mean about non-exact measurements?) - about 2 pounds
Oregano (I use dried)
Basil (I use fresh)
Olive Oil
Garlic - 1-2 cloves chopped
Red Pepper Flakes (optional)
Salt (to taste)
A few tablespoons of tomato paste (I find it helps thicken the sauce up a bit)

Cut the tomatoes in halves or quarters and arrange on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, oregano and red pepper flakes. Roast at 375 for about an hour. Just before removing them from the oven, sautee garlic in a saucepan for a few minutes. Add the roasted tomatoes to the saucepan, along with the tomato paste mushing it all up as best as you can and let simmer for 5-10 minutes, stirring often. 

If I were at home, at this point I would let the sauce cool, then put it all in a blender to make the chunky sauce smooth.... Here, however, I don't have a blender, so I just mash the chunks with a fork to make the sauce as smooth as I can. Add chopped basil. Let it cool a bit before topping the pizza dough with it. 

Pizza toppings provide endless combinations and room for experimentation - last night we made two: One with caramelized onions and goat cheese, the other with mushrooms and salami. 

Though I would still prefer my own dough to this store bought one, it was seriously delicious pizza. One bite in, Didz said, "This is the best pizza I've ever had!" -- I think we have a winner!

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