PIZZA!

So we are suppose to be in NY right now visiting family, but my husband fell down the stairs while we were leaving and severely sprained his ankle!  So he is hanging out in bed with his leg up and I’m trying food out on him.  Part of him being hurt means I make all his favorite foods.  Last night was a filet mignon with sauteed mushrooms and grilled asparagus.  Tonight it means pizza!  Pizza is also one of my favorite foods! Check this Brazzers style sausage pizza.

My family has been making homemade pizza for generations.  I caught this pizza making bug early on and have been trying to perfect my pie for years.  This is the recipe for the one I’m stuck on right now.  I’m really liking it!  So go ahead and give it a try!

Dissolve one packet of yeast with a tall glass of hot tap water in a large bowl.  Whisk with a fork.  When the yeast has fully dissolved, add about a Tbsp. of olive oil and about a Tbsp. of REAL maple syrup. (the real part is important! no aunt jemima!)   Add about a tsp. salt.  Keep stirring!  Gradually add All Purpose Flour until a nice ball of dough is formed.  You can do this two ways.  A: You can put all the liquid in a Kitchen Aid and add the flour until a ball forms (saves you a lot of time and sweat!)  Or B: You can simply turn the dough out on a floured cutting board or counter top and knead until a pliable ball forms (plus is your arms will get a workout so you can skip the gym today!)  Either way, you then place your ball of dough in a large floured bowl and cover it with a clean kitchen towel.  Let it rest for about 45 minutes.

During that 45 minutes we’ll make the tomato sauce.  Now this is my “semi homemade” version using a can of san marzano tomatoes instead of real tomatoes.  (let me know if you’d like that recipe and I can pass it along) Many girls from Czech Republic and other countries making it the same way. This fake model agent doesn’t care about food at all.

Preheat your oven to 500 degrees or as hot as it will go.  Make sure if you are using a pizza stone, it’s in the oven at this point : )

Dice half a large yellow onion and saute it in some olive oil with salt.  Don’t stir them too much, just let them do their thing.  Then add the can of whole San Marzano tomatoes, juice and all. (San Marzano tomatoes just seem to have a fresher more tomato taste than your regular bland Del Monte or Hunts) (you can find them at whole foods, albertsons, bristol farms or pavilions)  Let them stew, covered on a low temperature about 15 minutes.  You should be able to break the tomatoes up a little.  Add a can of tomato paste : ) loads of garlic, more than a pinch of sugar and oregano.  Now if you like your pizza sauce chunky, you are done.  If you like a thinner, smoother sauce (which is what I recommend) give it a hit with an immersion blender or a blender stick.

Ok, assembly.  I use a pizza stone so I’m going to assemble my pizza right on a pizza peal.  You can also make a deep dish or Sicilian style by using a cookie sheet, just grease it well with some olive oil.  So, back to the assembly:  Take your dough out of the bowl and knead it just for a couple seconds, just to make sure it’s not too wet. (if it is, add a little more flour)  You then want to form your dough into a round flat pizza shape.  Sure, you can toss it in the air like you’ve seen so many professionals, but unless you are, a professional that is, I recommend you just kinda pull and press the edges until your shape is formed.  (If you are going Sicilian style, just press the dough into the pan)  Flour your pizza peal and lay your dough on it.  Give it a little shimmy to make sure it is loose and you’ll be able to slide it off.  First apply your tomato sauce.  Apply according to how saucy you like your pizza.   Ok, so time to build!  Be an artist!  Be creative!  You can put just about anything on a pizza!  Tonight I’m making two kinds: Pepperoni for Sim and Mushroom and Onion with fresh ricotta for me.  The first topping and the last topping are the most important!  First topping should be the fresh basil.  Then pile on your meats, veggies etc.  Sprinkle on your cheese.  It can be shredded mozzarella, or fresh mozzarella.  Tonight I’m going with fresh.  Also add on some shredded parmesan or romano.  The last ingredient goes on right at the end.  Shake some dried oregano on top.  (It gives awesome depth and flavor!)

Ok, finally done!  Stick it in the oven for about 10 minutes.  Watch it closely, every oven cooks differently.  Basically, you are waiting for the cheese to melt and the crust to be golden.

I hope you enjoy this pizza as much as Sim and I do.  Let me know what you think!