It’s Friday night and you don’t want to cook. It’s been a long week and all you want to do is relax and you think to pick up the phone to order a pizza. But, what about the alternative, making your own. But Marie, you say, I’m tired, it takes so long and I don’t feel like cooking. With some planning ahead, you can have pizza in, for a fraction of the cost, and still know that you are enjoying real food.
Doesn’t that look better than from the store!
Last night, we made up the pizza dough and sauce. Rich likes Alton Brown’s recipe
http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/pizza-pizzas-recipe/index.html . He mixed up the ingredients, rolled it into a ball, covered it with saran wrap and put it in the fridge overnight. You can even freeze the dough if you want to save it for a later date. The next day, after work, we set it out and let rise for 30 minutes and the rolled it out. We use the back of a baking sheet dusted with cornmeal to make a peel so that it comes right off the pan. Rich likes a thinner crust, but I usually make mine thicker.
While Rich was busy making the dough, I mixed up a large batch of sauce. I’m planning on making lasagna for dinner Saturday, so I could use it for both. I think the best smell in the world is the smell of red sauce simmering on the stove. It takes me back to my childhood when my dad would make spaghetti for dinner every Sunday.
Spaghetti sauce is one of the easiest things to make and tastes so much better than store bought. It also has a lot less sugar. I must confess, though, I always use canned tomatoes for simplicity and ease. My goal for the summer is to can a bunch of fresh tomatoes to use in sauce, but we’ll see if I have time.
For the sauce, chop up some onion and garlic and cook in a large pot in olive oil until tender. Then, pour in a large can of either crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce depending on how thick you want your sauce. I usually make a double or triple batch and freeze it. Add in a can of tomato paste per can of tomatoes and pour in two paste cans worth of water for each can of paste. Then, here’s the easy part: dump in a bunch of spices. I use a bay leaf, parsley, basil, and oregano and a dash of salt. If you want a sweeter sauce, you can pour in sugar. Let the sauce boil and then simmer for a few hours, stirring every once in a while. Taste every so often to see if you need more spices.
Now, back to the pizza. After your dough is spread out, add the sauce, cheese and toppings. If you have kids, let them make your own and add in some family bonding along with making a yummy pizza and saving some money. We estimated that two pepperoni pizzas cost us about $7 and we have leftovers for lunch tomorrow.
Once your toppings are on, bake at 500 degrees for 7 minutes and voila! yummy pizza in less time than it would take to have it delivered. We enjoyed our pizza with some of Rich’s homebrew summer lager. Yum!