21 February 2009

Friday Night Pizza

When I was a kid, my family went out every Friday night for pizza. Hubby suggested that I start the tradition over but make homemade pizzas instead. Last night was the inaugural night and I started with basic Cheese Pizza and Pesto Pizza.

Using the following recipes, I made 1 thicker crust pizza on a Pampered Chef large bar pan and 1 roun thin pizza on the pizza stone. Top dough with sauce, freshly shredded mozzarella and parmesan-reggiano. Cook at 400 for 15-25 minutes until cheese is bubbly and lightly toasted. Let stand 5-10 minutes before slicing.

Cat Cora's Pizza Sauce
1 (4-ounce) can tomato paste
3/4 cup water (add up to 1 1/2 cups, as needed)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt and fresh ground pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon sugar

Mix together the tomato paste, water, and olive oil. Mix well. Add garlic, salt and pepper, to taste, oregano, basil, rosemary, red pepper, and sugar. Mix well and let stand several hours to let flavors blend. No cooking necessary, just spread on dough.

*I made the recipe with Cat's direction of 1/3 cup evoo & 1 1/2 cups water. It was very, very thin and a little oily. Next time I will reduce the water and oil and add as needed.

Basil Pesto
Adapted from Pick Your Own

  • 2 cups fresh packed basil leaves, washed, dried, and destemmed
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, walnuts, or hazelnuts
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup evoo
Chop the nuts in a food processor fitted with the chopping blade.  Add the basil leaves in small batches , pulsing until pastey.  Add parmesan.  With machine running, drizzle in lemon juice and olive oil until smooth.

Basic Pizza Dough
The Bread Lover's Bread Machine Cookbook
Makes 2 thin 12-14 inch, 1 14 inch deep dish, four 8 inch, or one 17x11 inch rectangular crust.

1 1/3 cups water
1/4 cup evoo
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp SAF yeast or 2 1/2 tsp bread machine yeast

Place all ingredients, in order listed, in bread machine pan. Select "dough" cycle and press start. When complete, immediately remove dough from pan and turn onto floured work surface. Divide into desired number of portions. Flatten each portion into a disc by kneading a few times. Cover with a damp towel and let rest for a minimum of 30 minutes, until the dough has increaded about 20% in size. Roll out and shape the dough as needed. Or place the dough in plastic food storage bags and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. To use, let rest for 20 minutes at room temperature before rolling out. The dough balls may also be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months; let dough defrost in the refrigerator overnight before using.