There isn’t anything I don’t like about pizza. I like wood fire, NY style, grease bomb, and everything in between. You can hold the green bell peppers and onions, but otherwise I’ve never found a slice of pizza I didn’t like.
In the past year though, my favorite pizza is the one that I make. I’ve worked my homemade sauce to be just right, found a crust that is pretty perfect, and realized I don’t need a stitch of meat. Rather than give up pizza because it’s so unhealthy, I found a way to enjoy it on occasion because it’s not that bad for me.
I start with a whole grain naan, an Indian bread that is usually sold near your grocer’s bakery. The Stonefire brand is excellent (I find this at Kroger), and SuperTarget’s house brand is great, too. They usually come two to a pack and I try to keep at least one in the freezer at all times. You never know when it’s going to be the perfect night for pizza!
I also like the naan because the size is just right; usually half fills me up and I’ve got lunch the next day. The texture when it bakes gets just crispy enough and just chewy enough and it holds the weight of the toppings just fine.
Next comes the sauce. Now, on an easy night, I’ve got frozen sauce ready to go. On a less easy night, I’m about 30 minutes away from the best homemade pizza sauce. You’ll need a can of San Marzano tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil, a few cloves of garlic, about half a yellow onion, 1/3 cup of red wine (give or take, you know), fresh basil, and a little Kosher salt and cracked black pepper. Any well-stocked kitchen has all of this.
Heat the olive oil in a pan and add the chopped onions. After a few minutes, when they start to turn opaque or slightly start browning, add the chopped garlic. Then, add the can of tomatoes, wine, salt, pepper and stir well. Let this simmer until it starts to thicken, then add finely chopped basil. Pour the sauce in to a glass blender, puree for a few seconds, and you’re done!
This always makes far more sauce than my husband and I can eat in a single meal, so I save the remaining sauce for quick use later. I use these Tovolo King Cube 2″ x 2″ square silicon ice trays. Freeze over night, then pop the cubes of frozen pizza sauce in to a baggy and your pizza is ready in half the time on a future night.
Spread the sauce over the naan, then load it up with veggies, or your choice of toppings. My favorite is red bell peppers, thinly sliced roma tomatoes, baby bella mushrooms, mozzarella, and a little more basil.
These bake at 400 degrees for about 15 to 20 minutes. Finally, slice, serve with a salad, and enjoy!
If you’re like me and don’t want to give up pizza, then don’t! Just make it yourself with fresh, quality ingredients and you’ll probably prefer it over anything that you’ve previously ordered over the phone.
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April 13th, 2012