The Pizza No-Recipe Recipe
I started making pizzas in college, when I was paying my way through the University of Maryland, working fulltime at a local fast-food place and going to school fulltime (I later changed to a different fulltime job).
Over the years I have continued to create pizzas at home, at times getting more creative and adventuresome. I cook a lot of other stuff, too, sometimes following formal recipes, but other times just creating from scratch. That’s part of the fun of cooking, isn’t it?
My feeling with pizza is that the best are simply crafted, without following any sort of formal recipe…it’s all about what ingredients appeal to you, what’s in the fridge and cupboard, and combining flavors and textures to create your masterpiece.
Each one is unique, but there are some favorite items I like to include regularly – basil, arugula, prosciutto, sundried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, pesto, a little goat cheese, although not always all of these. I sometimes add grilled chicken.
With respect to crust, I have made it from scratch on a few occasions (buy frozen or fresh dough to roll out), and have used flatbread from Trader Joe’s, but we often purchase the gluten-free frozen crusts at Costco – Sabatasso’s 3-pack frozen thin crust pizza already has sauce and 4 cheeses. A lot depends on time available.
A purist would likely argue you HAVE to make the crust from scratch. My son-in-law, whose family hails from Sicily, is a master at this! I tend to go for convenience (or is that being lazy?!).
No-Recipe Recipe (last night’s offering)
Start with the crust of your choosing (if plain, such as flatbread, add a good quality marinara sauce and grated cheese – I like the packages 4-cheeses already grated available at many grocers including Trader Joe’s but plain mozzarella works well, too). When we use the frozen thin-crust pizza mentioned above I add additional grated cheese.
About ½ cup coarsely chopped arugula
10 – 12 fresh basil leaves from the garden, coarsely chopped or torn
Sundried tomatoes (in oil) to taste – about 20 pieces
If using pesto (either homemade or from a jar) put small amounts on the pizza, the amount depending on your taste
3 – 4 thin fresh tomato slices, cut in halves or quarters
Goat Cheese – to taste, if you like it
Good quality grated parmesan or parmigiano reggiano cheese (I like adding afterwards) or freshly grate your own
Bake directly on the rack in the oven until desired crispness – or follow the directions if using a prepared crust (usually about 450 degrees for around 10 - 12 minutes).
On a side note, we found a terrific Italian food website, Sogno Toscano, and have ordered a variety of pasta, sundried tomatoes in oil, artichoke hearts in oil, cheese, roasted peppers in oil, and other products and have always been impressed with the quality. And the delivery has been quick!!
This is an entry in Rocky Dickerson’s July AR Challenge – Savory Stories.