Tuesday, August 04, 2009
Everybody is talking about saving money these days, and that's great and all, but where does our beloved pizza fit into that plan? We love pizza in this house. We've tried just about every pizza joint in town, and we have our favorites. Sometimes, however, we just want to order in and gather around the table, where we breathe in that cheesy, garlicky goodness before, you know, stuffing our faces. Know what I mean? Unfortunately, pizza isn't exactly cheap. Sure, you can knock off a few bucks by running to the shop to pick it up yourself, but you're still paying someone for their time, and that's really the rub, isn't it? Making pizza takes time. There is all that measuring and kneading and raising and waiting.
I'm here to tell you that it doesn't have to be that way. You can make pizza at home, and it can rival your favorite take-out brand. And while yes, it does take a little time to make, the wait is worth it - good things come to those who wait, afterall. There is nothing in the world like a fresh pizza, right out of the oven. Be still my grumbling tummy!
But don't stop at the dough! There is fresh, homemade sauce to be had, and it will be the best sauce you've ever eaten. Rachel's recipe has a bit of a kick to it, and it has chunks of glorious tomato that pop with freshness with each bite. It also freezes beautifully, which really helps with the whole time thing. Make a double batch of the sauce then freeze it flat in plastic bags. (I took one recipe and divided it into two bags.) The night before you make pizza you can take out a bag, put it in the fridge to thaw, and it will be ready when your dough is risen and rolled. (I tend to get two pizzas out of each bag of sauce.)
I've been lucky enough to travel in Italy, and while I don't know the complete origins of pizza I do know that the Italians have perfected the pizza-making process. In our house it's thin crust that rules, and that's because we were spoiled with all of the cracker-like pizza dough we consumed in Italy. It's hard to find that kind of pizza around here, but Smitten Kitchen's dough recipe is very close. I like to roll it thin and spread a thin layer of toppings on it, too. For us it's caramelized onions, salami and mozzarella or good ol' pepperoni and cheese. And that's one of the best things about pizza: You can make it your way every time.
Smitten Kitchen's Really Simple Homemade Pizza (I make two batches of this, because the only thing better than pizza hot out of the oven is cold pizza out of the fridge at midnight.)
Coconut and Lime's Zesty Pizza Sauce (As mentioned above, I divide this sauce in half and freeze it in two plastic bags.)