October 20, 2012
In the past several months, I've been making a fair amount of pizza, and trying out a lot of recipes in doing so. The various cooking magazines to which we subscribe have featured some pretty good pizza recipes in the past year. For example, the March 2012 issue of Bon Appetit featured a pretty good recipe. The one I've been using the most, though, and the one I consider the best, is the pizza dough recipe from the April/May issue of Fine Cooking. That recipe, for Make-Ahead Pizza Dough, was featured in the article "Pizza Your Way, Any Day," and is also at this link. This recipe makes for fool-proof dough that lasts for days in the refrigerator and makes for as many as eight pizzas, depending on how thick a crust you want. We prefer the cracker-thin crust option, though the photos with this post show one with a slightly thicker crust.
I go pretty simple for toppings, for the most part. Sliced grape tomatoes, a crimini and shitake mushrooms and a mix of cheeses (mozzarella, gruyere and Parmesan, most of the time), plus some chopped, fresh basil and oregano. Occasionally we'll toss on some arugula as well.
Good pizza requires good sauce, though, so I've been experimenting with sauce recipes and developed one we really like.
Easy Pizza Sauce
yield = 2 cups pizza sauce
1 can (28 oz) whole, peeled plum tomatoes (I use Hunts)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Pulse the tomatoes in a blender or food processor until smooth.
Add the olive oil to a 3-quart saucepan and heat until shimmering. Add the garlic and pepper flakes and cook 1 minute. Add the tomato, pepper and salt, stir thoroughly and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 40 minutes, by which time the sauce should have thickened and reduced to about 2 cups.
This sauce refrigerates in an airtight container for about 5 days.