Reminiscing Roma – Ultimate Comfort Food – Pizza!

My numerous trips to Italy made me a lover of Roman style pizzas – thin crust, marinara sauce made with ingredients like San Marzano tomatoes (grown on the volcanic plains of Mt. Vesuvius), Mozzarella di bufala Campana (milk from water buffalo raised in Campania & Lazio), & only one or two toppings.

After years of practice, playing with crust, oven, temperature, and toppings I have finally created few of my own pizzas which are the ONLY pizza now my family eats.

Personally, I don’t see any reason to have a right or wrong way to make pizza. It is after all a matter of personal taste. That said, here are recipes adapted over years to create my kind of pizza.

 

Pizza Dough

  • 31/2 Cups Flour (King Arthur’s bread flour or oo pizza flour)
  • 1 package yeast
  • 2 tbs honey
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup warm bottled water
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  1. Stir flour and yeast in a stand mixer with dough attachment. add honey, salt, and warm water.
  2. Blend on high for 2 minutes till dough comes together. Let dough rest for 2 minutes.
  3. Add olive oil and blend for 7 minutes on high.
  4. Place in a big bowl, cover loosely and let the dough rise in a warm place for 1.5 hours.
  5. Gently release the air, make sure the dough is covered and let rest in fridge overnight.

Makes 4 pizzas.

 

Pizza Sauce

  • 5 cloves garlic
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 large onion, diced extra small
  • 3 carrots, peeled and diced extra small
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons freshly picked oregano leaves
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed San Marzano tomatoes

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

  1.  Place 5 cloves in foil, sprinkle salt and pepper, drizzle olive oil, wrap, and place in oven for 25 minutes. When cool peel the skin off.
  2. Saute onions and carrots with olive oil in a medium pan. Add tomato paste. Cook for 10 minutes till vegetables are softened.
  3. Add garlic, salt, pepper, basil, oregano, and tomatoes. Fill the empty can with water and add to the pan. Bring to boil and then simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
  4. Blend sauce till smooth.

Note: I prefer not to puree my sauce. Also, this makes a large batch. You can easily freeze it for later use.

 

Herb Oil

  • 2 cups Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbs Dried Basil
  • 2 Tbs Dried Parsley
  • 1 Tbs Dried Oregano
  • 1 Tbs Fresh Rosemary
  • 1 Tsp Dried or Fresh Thyme
  • 2 Tbs Garlic Powder
  • 1 Tbs Kosher Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • 1 Tsp Chili Flakes
  • 1 Tsp Smoked or Sweet Paprika
  1. In a bowl mix all ingredients. Let rest for at least 2 hours before using.

Toppings

 Sausage and Onions:

  • Saute 1 lb of hot Italian sausage fresh without casings in a pan until brown. Add sliced onions and saute for a few minutes.

Mashed Potatoes and Bacon:

  • Make or buy mashed potatoes. Crisp bacon in pan.


Heirloom Tomatoes and Jalapeno:

  • Slice tomatoes thin and jalapeno.

  • Fresh Basil
  • Mozzarella Cheese
  • Parmesan Reggiano Cheese

Assembling the Red Pizza:

  1. Preheat the oven with the pizza stone at lowest rack. Heat the oven to the maximum heat your oven can withstand. Preheat for at least 1 hour.
  2. Bring the dough to room temperature 2 hours prior to baking.
  3. Roll the dough as thin as you can without tearing it. Pierce holes in the middle leaving 2 inches of edge. Apply herb oil on dough.
  4. Add red sauce (half a ladel), sprinkle sausage/onions or tomato/jalapeno, a few rounds of mozzarella cheese.
  5. Slide and bake the pizza for 7-10 minutes until crust is deep brown.
  6. Sprinkle few strands of basil, drizzle of best olive oil and rest for few minutes before cutting.

Assembling the White Pizza:

  1. Preheat the oven with the pizza stone at lowest rack. Heat the oven to the maximum heat your oven can withstand. Preheat for at least 1 hour.
  2. Bring the dough to room temperature 2 hours prior to baking.
  3. Roll the dough as thin as you can without tearing it. Pierce holes in the middle leaving 2 inches of edge. Apply herb oil on dough.
  4. Sprinkle mashed potatoes, bacon, mozzarella, and Parmesan cheese.
  5. Slide and bake the pizza for 7-10 minutes until crust is deep brown.
  6. Sprinkle truffle oil and rest for few minutes before slicing.

Serve Hot.

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4 Comments

  1. Pingback: Pizza | The Primlani Kitchen

  2. So many delicious pizza recipes! I LOVE the jalapeno’s on the one, they look mouthwatering! I’ll have to give the herb oil one a try! I need to get to Italy to try some traditional pizza, but yours seem like a good halfway point!

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