I married an Italian. A true, Italian speaking Italian from Rome, the capital of Italy. That means I get fresh pizza, pasta, lasagna every day of the week right?
Haha… and Americans eat an apple pie every day. We wish.
But my husband does have a wealth of knowledge about Italian food, and can whip up a mean 5 course meal without breaking too much of a sweat. That being said, I want to go on record that I, the American, made the best pizza.
I started with one of my favorite blogger’s recipes, Tracy Shutterbean, used fresh ingredients and cooked a beautiful homemade pizza. My dear readers, if I can, so can you :)
First things first- gather your ingredients and prepare your mind. You are about to make pizza, but no stress. That is not allowed.
Mix all the ingredients together in a LARGE bowl. I started too small and had to use my fruit bowl. Gotta love that Wonki Ware.
Then combine all the gooey ingredients together using your hands or a spoon. Get in there people. It makes it more “handmade” when you get your hands a little messy.
Cover and let the dough sit for 2 hours or more. While that dough is chillin’, gather ingredients for your pizza topping.
I am lucky enough to have had beautiful basil this summer and fall, and I highly recommend growing your own. It doesn’t take much and it saves you time and money. Plus, being able to walk out of your door and grab a few pieces of basil is priceless.
THIS baby is priceless too :) Hello puppy Tigro!!!
After smelling the roses, blend up the ingredients for the sauce.
After the dough (or pasta in Italian) has risen to maximum fluffiness, one half will be used tonight to make magnificent pizza, and the other will go in the fridge for another day.
Top that baby with the sauce. (My Italian says dump the sauce in the middle and spread out from there.) Plop on the mozzarella in chunks, lay that beautiful freshly picked and washed basil on the pizza and in it goes to the fiery hole in the wall.
DELISH. That is what I’m talking about. Try not to eat the whole thing by yourself. Key word: try.
The other half of the dough went to make this beauty which I can not take credit for. The hubbie made this, with half carb-central for him and the veggie for me. Both were magnificent. Get out there, make something special and share it.
NO KNEAD PIZZA DOUGH
(recipe from My Bread, by Jim Lahey)
Makes enough dough for two pies baked in 13×18-inch rimmed baking sheets
3 3/4 cups bread flour
2 1/2 teaspoons instant or active dry yeast
3/4 teaspoon table salt
3/4 teaspoon sugar
1 1/3 cups water
extra virgin olive oil for pan
In a bowl, stir together the flour, yeast, salt and sugar. Add the water, and using a spoon or your hand, mix together until blended — this should take a couple of minutes.
Cover the dough and let rise at room temperature for about 2 hours.
Dump out the dough on a lightly floured surface and cut it in half. Use both pieces, or save one in the refrigerator (use a zip lock bag) for up to 1 day. Oil a 13×18 inch rimmed baking sheet liberally with good extra virgin olive oil. Then gently plop the dough on the pan and stretch and press it out to the edges. If it springs back wait five minutes and then proceed. The dough is very thin. If it tears, piece it back together.
Pizza Margherita! - The classic Italian pizza
(adapted from My Bread, by Jim Lahey)
Makes enough for one 13 x 18 inch pizza
(1) 14 1/2 oz can of diced tomatoes
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
6 large leaves of fresh basil, whole or chopped
12 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese
Preheat the oven to 500° F.
Use a blender or food processor to pulse together the tomatoes, juice, olive oil and salt until they are chunky. The mixture will be liquid like soup.
Place the tomato sauce in the middle of the pizza and spread it out evenly over the dough, going all the way to the edges. Make sure no sauce piles up in the center of the pie. Top with basil and tear pieces of the fresh mozzarella and scatter it over the pie.
Bake for 18-20 minutes until the edges are slightly charred. Sprinkle with extra basil and serve hot or at room temperature.