Thursday, August 03, 2006


When we’re in the states I buy lots of weird things to bring back to Italy. I bring key lime juice, pecans and (apparently illegal) seeds for flowers and herbs. I also bring back cheddar cheese (frozen the night before and packed in our checked luggage to keep it frozen) and good 100 proof Kentucky bourbon. This past May I brought back vacuum packed, fully cooked bacon so that Art and I could have BLT’s in the summer…..which are great with the Hellmann’s mayonnaise we also bring back. I also brought back some vacuum packed pepperoni….the American style pepperoni, so that I could make Art a pepperoni pizza in Italy.

In Italy, pepperoni means peppers, as in greed and red bell peppers. Strangely enough, I’ve never seen a pizza in Italy with peppers on it. I’ve seen pizzas with eggplant, with artichokes and with a fried egg, but I’ve never seen a pizza with red, green or yellow peppers on it.

I’ve made very few pizzas in my day. I like pizza, but it’s always too much trouble to make them at home, or I never think about it until dinnertime, and there’s no time for the dough to rise.

Since we’d had barbeque on Art’s birthday, I still owed him that pizza. Today was the day! I started looking at cookbooks to find a recipe for pizza dough that I liked. Of course in the end I kind of combined all the recipes into one. Same with the pizza sauce. In the end I found the perfect recipe for a quick, simple pizza sauce that’s also incredibly easy and quick:

Pizza Sauce

2 Italian plum tomatoes (about 4 oz)
2-3 basil leaves
½ tsp salt
½ Tbsp olive oil
1 heaping Tbsp triple strength tomato paste
1 clove garlic

Slice off the top and bottom off the tomatoes, but don’t peel. Cut the tomatoes into thick slices and place them in a small food processor. Add the basil leaves and process until smooth.

Into a small bowl put the tomato/basil mixture, salt, pepper, olive oil and tomato paste. (Once again, I think the use of triple strength, rather than double strength makes a BIG difference.)

Peel the garlic clove then smash it with a knife blade. Add the whole clove to the sauce and stir well. Let the sauce sit at room temperature while you’re making the pizza dough.

Remove the garlic clove before spreading on the pizza.

This recipe makes enough to cover one 14” pizza in the Italian style. American style pizzas have a thicker tomato sauce. This sauce should work on a 12” pizza just as well.

The pepperoni I’d brought back came in four separate packets, and one was enough to cover my pizza….except for the small area I kept plain so that I could really taste the sauce.

I turned the oven up as high as it would go….about 450º, but higher would really be better.

I decided to put a little olive oil in my pizza dough, and just a pinch of sugar. I rolled it out to fit my 14” pizza pan, which made for a pretty thin crust. I brushed the crust with olive oil before I put the sauce on. I’d read that it would prevent the crust from getting soggy.

I used FRESH mozzarella cheese, then added the pepperoni. I baked it for about 15 minutes, maybe a little more, until the crust was starting to brown up. WOW! I’m so glad that I froze the other half of the dough, because now when I decide I want a pepperoni pizza all I have to do is thaw the dough! I didn’t think about taking a picture because we just gobbled it up! The crust was perfect….think, crisp and not at all soggy! Success!


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home