Thursday, September 6, 2012


  Do you love pizza as much as I do?  We probably eat it as least once a week for dinner, not to mention the countless leftovers, and that's because it's easy to make and even easier to customize however you like.  There are so many great combinations, and using what you have on hand can make for some pretty amazing creations, though my advice is to keep it simple.  Sauce, cheese, and one or two toppings generally make the best pizza, in my oh so humble opinion.  
  While there are some great dough recipes out there, I've fallen hard for the convenience and quickness that accompanies Fleischmann's Pizza Crust Yeast.  No waiting for dough to rise, minimal kneading, and no snap-back when you try to spread the dough in the pan.  And all you add is flour, salt, water, and olive oil.  Seriously simple.

   So you've made the dough.  Now what about goes on top?  I like sauce on my pizza, and the more of it the better.  You can make your own quick batch OR you can always buy a jar of pre-made pizza sauce in the pasta sauce aisle at the grocery store.  Or you can even forgo the sauce if you're in the mood for white pizza.
  It may sound boring to you, but my favorite pizza is the Pizza Margherita: Good quality tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, a grating of fresh Parmesan, and a sprinkle of fresh basil.  If you're like my sweetheart, you prefer at least SOME meat on your pizza.  (He's a bacon and black olives kind of guy.)
Bacon + black olives + mozzarella + basil
 Or if you're feeling really fancy, you make crispy Prosciutto bacon and take your preconceived notions of pork to an entirely new level.  Combined with creamy, part-skim ricotta, you've got Pizza of the Gods.
Prosciutto bacon + part-skim ricotta + Pecorino + basil
Bacon (I'm noticing a trend here) + fresh mozzarella + basil + Pecorino
Prosciuotto bacon + Pecorino + part-skim ricotta + heirloom tomatoes
Here's how to do it yourself...

Prosciutto Bacon
 Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Tear thinly sliced prosciutto into small pieces and place on a baking sheet.  Brush each piece lightly with olive oil.  Place prosciutto in oven and watching closely bake until deep golden brown and crisp.  This takes about 7 minutes.  Rotate halfway through. 
  Let cool.  Now you have fancy bacon to put on pizza, salads, anything!

 Follow directions on the yeast packet.  Add any toppings you desire.  Bake.  Be happy!
 Here are some interesting combinations worth trying:

Prosciutto + White beans + Red onion + Rosemary
Broccoli + Pesto + Red pepper + Mozzarella
Blue/Purple Potatoes + Asparagus + Goat cheese + Parmesan 

 All this writing about pizza is making me want to throw a pizza party!  How fun to have guests make individual pizza pies.  Have them bring the toppings, you supply sauces and dough.  Sounds like an event in the making...  Let me know if you want an invite ;-)