I don’t know what is worse, canned pasta sauce or a frozen pizza.
Never mind, both are equally horrible.
To anyone that loves frozen pizzas, I apologize, but I don’t care what DiGiorno advertises, it still tastes like a frozen pizza!
I know, I know, you can always order delivery.
But, NO! Don’t fall into that trap! You can make your own pizza and have it taste a lot better than some pizza joint, unless you are in Italy. Then by all means go ahead.
Trust me when I say you can make your own pizzas taste better, it feels more sentimental that way 😉
While I’ve always liked pizza, I didn’t become a pizza lover until I started making my own. It’s just so much better than delivery, as well as a lot of fancy pizzerias.
An essential item to any cook’s repertoire would be a go-to tomato sauce. Whether you call this tomato sauce, marinara, or gravy, as it is religiously referred to in my home, it is the foundations to a great deal of my favorite meal, pizza!
Believe it or not, homemade marinara is not a 4-hour long mission. If you follow my easy steps, it takes only about an hour.
First, cut an X on the bottom of the Roma tomatoes.
Bring water to a boil and drop the tomatoes in. Let the tomatoes boil for about 3-5 minutes if ripe. If the tomatoes are not ripe, you will have to boil the tomatoes for 5-10 minutes.
Take the tomatoes out when you see the skin starting to peel off by itself and drop in an ice bath.
The skin should fall off by itself. You should not have to work to peel the skin off. If you do, then drop back in the boiling water.
After skin is peeled off, deseed, chop and drain the tomatoes.
Sauté the onions, garlic and seasonings. Then add ¼ cup of red wine and let the alcohol boil off. Add the tomatoes and ¼ cup chicken stock, basil, oregano and let simmer for about 30 to 40 minutes. Season with sugar and lemon to your hearts desire.
A good pizza dough recipe uses honey. Honey is in the form of syrup and can be easily distributed throughout the mixing process, therefore giving the pizza dough that deliciously sweet yet crispy flavor. You can make simple syrup if you don’t have honey (1 part sugar, 1 part water), but the flavor of the honey is more distinct and pairs very well with cheeses and meats, such as sausage or pepperoni.
Currently, pizza is a regular fixture in our house and so is this basic pizza dough recipe that gets used, a lot.
Use a pizza stone with the temperature of the oven at 500 °F. The pizza stone evenly bakes the bottom of the dough, without having a soggy bottom. Therefore, leading to a delicious and crispy crust. *Make sure the pizza stone is in the oven while preheating.
Dust the wooden pizza paddle with corn meal. This will help the pizza smoothly peel off the paddle and onto the pizza stone in the oven. You can use flour instead of corn meal, but corn meal adds a nice texture and flavor to the crust.
Use fresh ingredients!
Making a pizza is really simple and sometimes your own homemade pizza may be better than some pizzerias! It’s just a matter of having the right ingredients and materials.
I like being adventurous with my pizzas and like to add whatever I have available.
You can put the standard ingredients on the pizza, such as mozzarella and pepperoni.
Or you can be more gourmet and add ingredients, such as, goat cheese and prosciutto.
Your options are endless!
My homemade pizza with my marinara sauce is my culinary version of the little black dress, and can be reliably dressed up or down with delicious ease.
Yields: 2 cups
4 very ripe Roma tomatoes
5 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/4 cup red wine
1/4 cup chicken stock
1/2 onion, diced
Lemon to taste
Cut an X on the bottom of the Roma tomatoes. Bring water to a boil and drop the tomatoes in. Let the tomatoes boil for about 3-5 minutes if ripe. If the tomatoes are not ripe, you will have to boil the tomatoes for 5-10 minutes. Take the tomatoes out when the skin starting to peel off by itself and drop in an ice bath. The skin should fall off by itself. You should not have to work to peel the skin off. If you do, then drop back in the boiling water. After skin is peeled off, deseed chop and drain the tomatoes. Sauté the onions, garlic and seasonings. Then add ¼ cup of red wine and let the alcohol boil off. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste and ¼ cup chicken broth and let simmer for about 30 to 40 minutes. Season with sugar and lemon to your hearts desire. Add chopped basil and oregano before serving.
Yields: 2-12″ pizzas
3 cups all purpose flour
1 cup water, 105-115 °F
1 1/2 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast and honey in 1/4 cup warm water. In a mixing machine fitted with a dough hook, combine flour, yeast and salt. Add the oil and remaining 3/4 cup of water and mix until the mixture forms a ball. Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface and knead by hand for 2 or 3 minutes until smooth and form. Cover the dough with a clean, damp towel and let it rise in a warm spot for 2 hours. The dough should double in size.
Divide dough into 2 balls and work eash ball by pulling down the sides and tucking under the bottom of the ball. Repeat 3-4 times. Then roll the ball under the palm of your hand until the top of the dough is smooth and firm. Cover the dough again with a clean damp towel and let rest again for another hour.
Preheat oven 500 °F
Sweet Sopressa Salami (or whichever salami you prefer)
Red onions, thinly sliced
Green peppers, thinly sliced
Sweet Sopressa Salami
Red onions, thinly sliced
After an hour, roll out the dough ball on a smooth floured surface into a 12″ circle. Lightly sprinkle corn meal onto the pizza paddle. Transfer the pizza dough onto the pizza paddle and add the marinera sauce and toppings onto the dough.
Gently shake the pizza paddle and lift up the edges of the pizza and slide onto the pizza stone. Bake the pizza one at a time until the crust is lightly browned and the cheese is golden, about 10-15 minutes.