I promised a post on pizza so here it is. But that is obvious, huh? Serious, who doesn’t love a slice now and then? Almost every informal group I have had a part of serves/buys pizza for meetings or parties. It’s amazing how much money is plunked down for pizza just in the US alone. According to Pizza Today as quoted in this USA Today article, written in 2005, the amount of money spent in the USA on pizza is over $32 billion dollars!!!! Can you believe it? Pizza sales account for 10% of all food purchases as well. This doesn’t even begin to cover the amount of pizza consumed at home that is homemade. You can only imagine those numbers.
Last night we made homemade pizza. I wanted to make Pizza Margherita, the traditional Italian style of pizza. My boys, of course, wanted their own. No problem. I used a recipe for the dough that was new to me and I don’t think I will use it again. I am pretty sure, after working with different doughs, the ratios were off in this recipe. I won’t post the link because I don’t want anyone to get a bad reputation. It could have been me, for all I know, who doesn’t know what they are doing. But I did end up with a great pizza in the end. The crust was a bit crunchy on the edges because we cooked it like 3 minutes too long, but otherwise, the taste was fantastic!
1 basic pizza crust-homemade or store-bought (your choice)
3-4 ripe plum tomatoes
4 Tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
4-5 large basil leaves
1/2 pound fresh mozzarella sliced
Heat oven to 500 degrees and preheat pizza stone for 10 min.In a food processor, pulse the tomatoes, 1 tbsp of oil and some salt and pepper. Make your pizza on a piece of parchment paper. Tip-cut the paper to the size of your crust or the edges of the paper burn-trust me on this. Spread the sauce on the pizza, it will be thin but don’t worry. The hot oven will cause the water to evaporate off the pizza. Put the dough with sauce into the oven for 10 minutes on the bottom rack. Remove carefully and add the fresh basil leaves, torn up, and the cheese slices. Drizzle the rest of the olive oil as well. Put the pizza back in the oven, moving to the middle rack if need be, for about 5-8 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bottom of the crust is light brown. Remove and enjoy! We added a bit more basil when it was out of the oven, that is why the basil is two different colors.
My younger son preferred a calzone type of meal so here he is with his dinner. He wanted to be on “the blog”.
This article at Life in Italy gives a wonderful history of pizza in Italy. I love how they say in the USA there are two kinds of pizza-thick and cheesy Chicago style or thin and more traditional like in NYC. But in Italy there are also two distinct styles-Italian style and the rest of the world. I love it!
Oh by the way, as I was sitting here typing out this post, my sons were listening to the information I found in my simple research and they decided they needed to eat pizza/calzone once again. Good thing I had one of those packages of quick pizza crusts where you just add water! See even the Italian mama chef uses convenient foods in her home.