Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Pizza Party

Growing up we didn't eat very much pizza, but after I got married, it was a favorite of mine to make for our family.  Through the years, I've experimented with making my own sauce, but it was just in the last three years that I finally came up with a combination that is perfect!  I have to say that I like this sauce so much, I've even used it on other things; stuffed zucchini with rice mixed with this sauce, sprinkle some cheese and baked until tender...yum, yum!

One of things I suggest for perfect pizza is using a baking stone.  This can be purchased at kitchen stores, as well as places like Bed, Bath & Beyond and Target.  It's important to create that "brick oven" crust you've loved at your favorite pizzeria.  I also recommend investing in a peel that works to transfer the pizza to the stone.

When you're ready to put your pizza together, make sure you have all the ingredients in place: cheeses grated, olive oil (for brushing the dough), favorite toppings and your sauce.  Have fun and let your family or guests put together their "order!"

Perfect Pizza Sauce
28 oz. can Muir Glen Organic Fire Roasted Whole Tomatoes
1/4 cup water
13 oz. jar Roasted Sweet Peppers
1/4 cup finely chopped sundried tomatoes/packed in oil
3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2-3/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried basil
2 tsp. salt
pepper to taste
 olive oil
First, in a sauce pan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil.  Add the finely chopped sundried tomatoes and saute a few minutes over medium heat.  

Turn off the heat.  Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and let sit while you prepare the rest of the sauce.
In a food processor, add the tomatoes, roasted sweet peppers, water, sugar, herbs, and salt.  Process 1-2 minutes until the mixtures is pureed.  Pour into the saucepan and heat to a boil, then, turn heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.  Turn off heat, cover and let sit until ready to use.
Pizza Dough

3 cups Pizza Blend Flour (or all-purpose flour)
1 T (or 1 package) active dry yeast
2 T honey
2 tsp. salt
2 T olive oil
1/2 cup warm water (105F-115F-degrees)
additional water to create dough

In a glass one-cup measure, mix the warm water with dry yeast.  Add 1 tsp. honey and stir.  Let rest until foamy.  Meanwhile, in a food processor, mix flour, salt, olive oil, and honey and process 30 seconds.  Add the "proofed" yeast and pulse 2-3 times.  Turn on processor and add additional water through the feed tube until the dough comes together.  Continue another 30 seconds to knead.  Turn dough out onto a bread board and knead until smooth.  Place dough in a plastic bag that has been sprayed with an oil spray.  Seal the bag and let rise 45 minutes or until the dough doubles in size.

Heat baking stone in a 500F-degree oven.

Suggested Toppings
Mozzarella cheese, grated
Fontina cheese, grated
Parmesan cheese, grated
Ground sausage (I used a vegetarian style)
Japanese Eggplant
Roasted Potatoes
Carmelized Onions

Divide dough into thirds.  Roll dough out and transfer to a peel that is dusted with cornmeal.  Brush with olive oil.
Spread sauce over the surface.  Sprinkle with the cheese (I used a combination of mozzarella, fontina, and parmesan).  Crumble cooked sausage and/or mushrooms...or your favorite toppings.
Bake 8-10 minutes in the preheated oven.  Remove from oven and place on a wooden board and let cool about 5 minutes before slicing. Serve with a salad...in fact I love salad on top of mine.  Enjoy!


  1. I love making homemade pizza, yours looks incredible Susan! I am so happy you shared a homemade sauce recipe, we have 50 tomato plants growing. Certainly I went a bit overboard in the tomato dept. this year! I was just so excited about all of the different varieties : ) So, lots of salsa and sauce are in my future! How would you suggest subbing in fresh tomatoes? Thanks! xoxo

  2. Core and cut the tomatoes in half. Squeeze out the seeds (optional, but cuts down on the bitterness). Heat oven to 400F-degrees. Brush tomato halves with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and roast for 20 minutes. You can use them directly in recipes or freeze them for later use. Fifty tomato plants! That reminds me of how many my grandfather would plant. We made everything from sauce, ketchup, tomato jam, and canned dozens of jars of "stewed" tomatoes for winter's use! I wish I lived nearby to help you pick!

  3. Yum! Fontina is my favorite cheese for pizza. Gadget Girl here wants to know what you're using on the sundried tomatoes. :)

  4. That's New!! I saw it in one of my cooking magazines and found it on Amazon. It's called a Kuhn Rikon Kulu Herb & Vegetable Knife Colori in Green. I love it; it's like a mezzaluna.

  5. I have had Susan's homemade pizza and can attest that her sauce is just as amazing as she says it is!! Definitely the best homemade pizza I've EVER had!!

    Love ya!

  6. Susan! I found the same tool today at TJ Maxx and snapped it up! :)

  7. You probably paid a lot less too!