Pizza Amore

When the moon hits the sky, like a big pizza pie, that’s amoré!!!

Are you channeling Italy yet? Well go grab a glass of proseco and come back to check out this pizza dough recipe. I haven’t shared any recipes in a while, but let me tell you, I’ve been cooking up a storm in my kitchen. This recipe came to me from one of my besties. When I moved into our last apartment, she got me the 100 Pizzas cookbook. Every single pizza in this cookbook is made with ONE recipe of pizza dough.

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The best part of this pizza crust is it’s not too thick and it crisps up so scrum-diddly-umptiously. The pizza dough will make enough for two large personal pizzas or one actual large pizza, depending on how you stretch it out and how thin/thick you like it.

The only not so fun part about the dough? Kneading. But kneading always makes for the best crusts, getting just the right amount of air into them so they don’t turn out too dense. But why not have some fun while kneading? I tried out my time lapse camera setting for the first time while kneading but alas I have no patience for the slow uploading speeds of my computer. Soooo you don’t get to see that video.

But here are your 5 simple ingredients for this versatile crust!

  • 2 1/4 cups white bread flour (plus a little extra for dusting/ you can swap in whole wheat if you prefer)
  • 1 tsp. instant yeast
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup lukewarm water
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil (plus extra for kneading)

And that’s it! Now comes the fun part:

  1. Sift the flour (or dump like I did) into a mixing bowl and add the yeast and salt, making a small well or crater in the top. Mix the water and oil together and pour into the bowl, using a rubber spoon to gradually combine all the flous to make a sticky dough. (It may not seem like it will all combine at first, trust me, it will.)
  2. Lightly flour the work surface and your hands and knead the dough for about 10 minutes (20 if you are doubling the recipe. Good luck with hand cramps) until it’s smooth and elastic.
  3. Cover the dough with some lightly oiled plastic wrap or a dampdish towl and let rise for about an hour, or until it has doubled in size. Don’t cover it too tightly or the platic wrap WILL bust open. At least that’s what happened for me…

Once your dough is done rising, it’s time to start your pizza! I love making pizzas when people come over because it’s fun for others to feel a part of the meal, but also your guest gets to decide how they are going to eat it. I’m thinking this would be a fun meal for kids to get involved in too! My favorite combination I came across when I was studying abroad in Austria: artichokes, banana peppers, and salami. Salty and delicious!

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Bake at 450 for 9-12 minutes or until you’re at the right crispiness for your taste buds. If you’re using a pizza stone, be sure to preheat the stone first. Or you may hear a gunshot-like sound 5 minutes into cooking and look in the oven to find your brand new stone comepletely shattered and your pizza chillin on the oven rack….or something along those lines…3

^^ Our shattered pizza stone go figure…

Before you pop it in the oven, try melting a tbsp. of butter with a few dashes of garlic powder and lathering that all over your crust. That’s of course if you’re not going the healthy route duh…. But I also like to chop up some fresh basil OR if there is no basil in the house I’ll go with a quick sprinkle of oregeno. YUM. Writing this has me dreamin in Italian, scootering off to a piazza to grab some fresh pizza and walk down the streets of Roma. Please and thank you.

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But anyways this is a great recipe for Super Bowl Sunday to make appetizers or quick slices to soak up some of that beer. Try out this easy-peasy pizza and let me know what you think :) How do you like your pizza?

 

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The Besto of Pesto

If you haven’t heard, I love green. Green food that is… I mean I’m all about going green without being a hippie and all, but I’m not the first person to sign up for recycling programs (I also waste paper as though Microsft Word was never invented). Sorry guys, gotta be honest.

Back to food, there’s no surprise when I decided to start a garden on my miniscule balcony. Of course there is your occasional tomato or geranium, but pretty much everything else is … well… green!

My favorite, however has been my herbs. And by herbs I mean my basil because I killed everything else. Apparently I don’t have the green thumb I thought I did. So since the sprouting of my little basil plants, I’ve been researching recipes I want to try it in. Naturally first up was going to be some homemade pesto. Because I put it on everything and it’s too expensive at the store.

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Now keep in mind I used spicy basil for this recipe which was a great idea except for picking it. The leaves are 10 times teeny-tinier than normal basil so it took a lot longer. Word to the wise? Stick to normal basil unless you’re a culinary genius or are exceptionally picky and need to have your fix of spicy basil.

You’ll need:

  • 2 cups of fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts (can be toasted if you prefer)
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil
  • 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese
  • juice from half a lemon
  • salt and pepper

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– Load your basil, nuts and garlic into your food processor or blender, depending what you have.

– While it’s running, slowly add your lemon juice and olive oil.

– Scrape your pesto into a separte bowl and mix in your parmesan cheese and season away with salt and pepper.

– Lather over bread and make a panini. Or some pasta. Or a salad. Or a pizza. Or eat a spoonful…what?

Enjoy some more green food lovin’ :)