Demented Ramblings life is too short to refrain from eating jam out of the jar

9Jul/060

Pizza done right

As a general rule, I don't like tomatoes.  I like salsa, ketchup, spaghetti sauces, but not raw tomatoes.  I've tried to make myself endure them, and occasionally I can endure, but I really don't like them.  There is, of course, an exception to this.  Margherita pizza sauce.

A couple of years ago, I was watching Tyler's Ultimate and saw some cute little italian mama make this concoction.  I've adapted her sauce for my use.  As always, there's no set recipe and no amounts for anything.  However, the method is always the same.

For the sauce I mangle a couple of ripe tomatoes, sort of chopping, sort of mashing, being sure to squeeze the most of the juice/seeds out into the garbage.  I crush a couple of cloves of garlic, chiffonade some basil, add a splash of olive oil and a pinch of kosher salt.  Then let it mingle for a little while, anywhere from 10 minutes to several hours, depending on how hungry I am.

This last time, I used prefab pizza crusts from Kroger, and I have to say that they were splendid!  Much better than anything I've ever made, and didn't get nearly as mushy as the packet mixes I've used in the past.  I fired the oven up to 450 and slid the pizza stone in there to warm with the oven.

While the oven was heating, I started to work on my toppings.  I chopped up some green and black olives, shallot, roasted red pepper, shiitake mushrooms, and fresh basil.  I started assembling the pizza, spreading the sauce and toppings around and then dropping a few dollops of ricotta cheese on it.  Next I tore up small bits of fresh mozzerrella and spread them around, and sprinkled the whole thing with a little parmesan.

One nice thing about those prefab crusts is that my peelless self could just pick it up carefully and plop it on the hot pizza stone.  10-12 minutes in the oven and it was gorgeous.  Even pop liked it, though he said "needs cayenne", however he says that about damned near everything so I refuse to take offense.

I am planning to experiment with beef burek this week.  Hopefully it'll turn out well.

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