Hello my lovely blog friends! I know it’s been a few months since I’ve stopped in and said hello, but it’s been quite a year. I was balls deep with my new writing project, trying to keep myself occupied while on submission, and doing a BUNCH of research. I’m finally putting the final touches on my manuscript and it’s one of my favorite projects EVER. Hopefully you’ll be hearing more about it when it goes on submission this fall.
To make up for my silence, I’m going to share a fun recipe with you that’s been in our family for years and years. After writing all day it’s nice to take a break and cook up something quick and tasty.
Since I have an Italian background, I’m going to share a fast pizza recipe with you. Now don’t be scared…it’s MUCH easier to make dough than you might think.
First you’ll need the following ingredients to make the dough:
2 cups warm water
1 pkg dry yeast (active dry)
2 tablespoons sugar
3 teaspoons salt
4 tablespoons olive oil
4 cups unbleached flour
In a small bowl mix the dry yeast with the warm water, then let it sit aside.
In a large bowl add the rest of the ingredients and mix together. (You want all of your salt and sugar to be mixed evenly before you add the water/yeast).
Once you’ve done that, slowly add the water/yeast into the large bowl. I usually lightly move the mixture around with my hands to spread the water as far as possible without kneading it too much at first. After the water is mixed with the flour (as best as you can) start kneading the dough on a counter (make sure you sprinkle some flour on the surface to avoid the dough getting stuck prior to kneading it). It’s important to not over knead it, you basically just want your dough to be smooth at this point.
Divide the dough in half, making two round mounds (pictured below).
Cover with a towel and let sit for about 30-40 minutes.
While your dough is rising, you can make some easy marinara sauce. (If you’re really fancy, you can make the sauce the night before and let it cook down longer.)
For the sauce you’ll need:
1 can of whole peeled tomatoes
1 medium can of Hunts sauce
2-3 cloves of garlic (based on taste preference)
1 pinch of salt
1 pinch of oregano
3 tablespoons of dried basil (or enough to cover the top of your sauce)
In a food processor, chop the garlic and tomatoes until smooth. Add the tomatoes and garlic to a sauce pan, then combine the rest of the ingredients and cook over a medium heat for as long as possible. (The longer you let it cook, the more it’ll cook down and become nice and thick for your pizza.)
While your sauce is finishing up you can prep your toppings to save some time. We like making mozzarella, goat cheese, and prosciutto pizza, but nothing beats a classic margherita pie. For that you’ll just need to slice some fresh mozzarella, or buy some that’s already pre-sliced.
When you’re happy with your sauce’s consistency, you can begin rolling your dough out. I normally just hand roll it by pulling and stretching it until it’s roughly the size of our pizza pan or stone. After you’ve rolled your dough out, sprinkle some more flour on your pizza stone or pan then place your dough on top of it.
Add sauce to your dough. The trick is to not add too much, just a few spoonfuls – you still want to be able to see the dough in spots. This will help ensure your dough doesn’t get soggy in the middle.
Then top with cheese and whatever else you like. For mine I sprinkled a little bit of Pecorino Romano over the top then added sliced mozzarella. Pictured below:
Stick it in a preheated oven (I set mine for 425) and let it cook for about 15 minutes. You may want to check yours around the 10 minute mark, depending on how hot your oven gets. The pizza is done when the crust is a nice golden brown.
Slice and enjoy!
Quick Dinner Tip: If you make your sauce the night before (or even defrost frozen sauce you’ve saved from previous meals), then this dinner is extra easy and fast. You can also pre-make your dough and keep it wrapped in plastic wrap in the fridge the night before. Then you’ll just have to set the dough out for a few minutes to get room temperature and roll it out. Total time for that would only be about 30 minutes for cooking and prep.