Monday, August 9, 2010

Homemade Pizzas

A couple of weeks ago I posted about making pizzas at home in the oven, but I didn't provide any specific recipe details or photos.  A few nights ago the occasion came to rectify this.  We had all been out of town for a few days and were finally back together.  We decided to celebrate by making two large pizzas for the four of us (I planned on leftovers...there were none).  It was also the first cool night in days so turning on the oven wouldn't be unbearable.

As fantastic as it would be to make my own dough, it was a work day and I didn't want to wait for all the rising to occur.  I sent Zandra to buy two large balls of dough from a local pizza shop instead.  I highly suggest doing this: it is very inexpensive and probably much better quality than a supermarket (or what I could make).  I then ventured over to Whole Foods to pick out toppings.  This being the peak of summer, I knew I wanted one of the pizzas to be plain pizza margherita to use fresh tomatoes.  The other I decided to make with no sauce, but with cremini mushrooms, leeks, arugula and pancetta for some salty meaty flavor.   The pancetta was surprisingly inexpensive, and all in all it wasn't an expensive grocery trip.

I started by making the sauce for the margherita.  Once it was simmering, I browned the pancetta and layered the vegetable pizza.  I drizzled it with plenty of olive oil so that it would not dry out without sauce.  I cooked it on an oiled baking sheet at 450 until it was well browned.  The crust got slightly burnt, but we didn't really notice.  When I took it out, I covered the top with fresh arugula.  Because we only have one baking sheet, we ate the cremini, arugula and pancetta pizza while the margherita cooked.  It was terrific.  There was just enough pancetta to flavor the pizza, but it didn't overpower the vegetables.  The leeks caramelized in the oven the arugula wilted in the heat.

Though much simpler, the pizza margherita, just the homemade sauce, cheese and basil, was equally delicious.  The tomatoes were extremely fresh and sweet, far better than any canned tomato sauce.

Pizza Margherita
Pizza dough for 1 large pizza
5 roma tomatoes
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 pinch of sugar
Red pepper flakes
Olive oil
1 medium ball of fresh mozzarella, sliced thin
1/4 c. fresh Parmesan
2-3 tbs. julienned fresh basil

1. Bring water to a boil in a large pot.  Drop in the tomatoes and boil for 1 minute.  Drain and run under cold water.  Remove the skin of each tomato, using a knife to help if necessary.  Chop.

2. Return the pot to the stove and heat the olive oil along with the garlic.  When the garlic begins to brown, add the tomatoes, sugar and salt and pepper flakes to taste.  Simmer for 30 minutes, until the tomatoes break down. 

3. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 450.  Roll out the dough and place on a greased baking sheet.  Drizzle the crust with sparse olive oil.  Cover the crust with the tomato sauce, then the mozzarella.  Sprinkle with the Parmesan.  Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the crust is golden and the cheese is bubbly.  Sprinkle with the basil and serve.

Pancetta, Cremini and Arugula Pizza
Pizza dough for 1 large pizza
1 leek, well cleaned and sliced (white and light green parts only)
10-15 sliced cremini mushrooms
1/4 lb. pancetta, cut into small slices
1 medium ball of fresh mozzarella, sliced thin
1/4 c. fresh Parmesan
A few cups of arugula

1. Cook the pancetta in a small fry pan until cooked through.  Remove to a paper towel.

2. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  Roll out the pizza dough and place on a greased baking sheet.  Drizzle the crust with a decent amount of olive oil (this pizza has no sauce, so it is important to keep it moist).  Layer on the cheeses, followed by the mushrooms and leeks, and finally the pancetta.

3. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the crust is golden the cheese is bubbly.  Sprinkle with the arugula and drizzle with a little more olive oil and serve.

1 comment:

  1. Promise me that you'll make this for us asap! Looks completely and totally delicious!