Sunday, December 1, 2013

Pizza with Broccoli Rabe, Pepperoni and Mozzarella

Who doesn't like pizza? No one fun, that's for sure.  I love making pizza, not only because it's a crowd pleasing comfort food but also because it's an easy way to use up ingredients in the fridge. Here's a simple, delicious idea for this weekend's menu.

I used to make my own homemade pizza dough. Though those pizza making parties resulted in great stories (one instance involved me going to the hospital and getting stitches courtesy of a prosecco explosion), they didn't always result in great pizza.  Now, I take the easy road and pick up pre-made dough.  Trader Joe's and Whole Foods both sell ridiculously cheap dough and most grocery stores and pizza shops will sell you dough if you ask.  Grab whatever ingredients you have in the fridge and throw it on there!
While I haven't mastered the dough, I have mastered cooking a perfect pizza.  These tips will ensure you have the perfect crispy crust:
  1. Turn the oven to the highest heat (not broil). The hotter the oven, the crispier the pizza
  2. Sprinkle a baking sheet or pizza stone with corn meal.  This will prevent the pizza from sticking.
  3. Press the dough into the baking sheet or pizza stone, as thinly as possible.  If you create little holes in the dough, just patch it back together.  Thinner is better.
  4. Brush olive oil over the dough before placing all the ingredients
  5. Add any ingredients you like! Pre-cook vegetables and if you add tomatoes remove excess liquid to avoid making the dough soggy.
  6. Don't forget salt and pepper! (and oregano if you like it)
  7. Cook for 8-10 minutes keeping an eye to avoid burning.
To make this pizza:
  • First sauté broccoli rabe with olive oil and garlic
  • Buy local pepperoni.  Always ask at the meat/cheese counter if they have other pepperoni/meat options besides the pre-packaged processed stuff; you only order what you need and it's usually cheaper!
  • Thinly slice tomatoes (I used the last of the jersey summer tomatoes I had..) and remove excess liquid before adding to the dough
  • Top with shredded cheese, salt, pepper and oregano
  • Bake according to instructions above
  • Finish with Parmesean cheese and enjoy!