Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Pizza Night

Last night I made some homemade pizza. I am pretty fussy about pizza. Since I have moved around a lot, I have sampled many different flavors and styles reflecting regional interests, specialties, and tastes. My taste buds have not always agreed with the style of pizza available at every location I have lived, therefore I started making my own at home. It is incredibly easy to make homemade pizza dough. It hardly takes any time at all to make it, and you can either use your own homemade sauce or just grab a bottle from the store if you really must. One thing I have learned is to use very little sauce. It is incredibly tempting to ladle on gobs of sauce, but really just a thin layer provides plenty of moisture and flavor without making your crust soggy.

Last night I tried two new recipes, and was especially pleased with the sauce. It was fast, easy, and so very flavorful. I think the 5-Spice powder really gives it an edge that I must say was quite lipsmackingly good. The recipe I used came from here, although Marie mentioned that she has changed the recipe somewhat, and I therefore incorporated most of her changes. The only change I made of my own was to use garlic paste in place of minced cloves, as that was what I had in my fridge.

Marie's Pizza Sauce

1 large jar tomato passata (about 2 cups)
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp garlic paste (Marie uses 1-2 cloves of minced garlic)
1 Tbsp sugar (using a normal flatware spoon to measure)
1 tsp onion powder, roughly
1/2 tsp fennel seeds, crushed in a mortar & pestle
1 Tbsp dried basil
1/2 Tbsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp Chinese 5-Spice powder
salt and pepper, to taste (maybe 1/2 tsp of each, I didn't measure at all)

Combine, bring to just a simmer, then lower the heat, cover with the lid slightly ajar, and let cook on low heat for about 15 minutes.

For my crust, I decided to try this recipe for Cornmeal Pizza Dough, since I am still trying to cook my way through the massive bag of polenta I bought a few months ago. It turned out very well, although I am not sure the cornmeal flavor went over as well as my usual pizza dough.

I did have a few mishaps - namely, when adding my last bits of tomato paste to the sauce from my nearly empty tube, the tube decided to twirl in my hand and squirt up and backwards, directly onto my shirt. I also managed to drop not one but two kitchen utensils, both covered with sauce, onto the kitchen floor. So forgive the slightly charred edges of the pizza in the photo, as I was busy rinsing off both the dishes, the floor, and my shirt and didn't quite hear the timer go off. Everything still tasted good, but normally my pizzas are not quite so um.. caramelized.. /blush.


  1. Caramelized or not that is one damn good looking pizza to me!! So glad that you enjoyed my sauce Heather! Like I said it came about from years of experimentation and testing. I think it's the best, but then that is according to my tastes! Someone else might not think so! I had to laugh about your little mishaps! I often have days like that. Being able to laugh at yourself is a big blessing! Love your daily kitten at the side! Sweet!

  2. Thank you so much for sharing it with me :) I really enjoyed it a lot.