I love pizza, but had left the making to my local shop. When I was with R, we experimented with pizza when he discovered the crust could easily be made in a bread machine. I left him to perfect this part of his repertoire and left myself out of the loop indulging only in his creations.
Since those days are over, I have spent a bit more time perfecting my recipes. There is still a lot of work to be done, but so far my experiments have provided a wealth of fruit to savor and delight in. The key is patience. Patience in waiting for the dough to rise. Patience in taking time to stretch the dough so it is thin enough to be crisp and yet thick enough to hold the toppings. Patience in not eating it as soon as it is removed from the oven or your will get a blister on the top of your mouth that will hurt for days.
I never thought I would say it, but I am developing patience.
Pizza is also one of those things that is perfect for week 2 of the food budget. This is a receptacle that holds all those wee bits of things and leftovers that you aren’t sure what to do with, but you know there is a starving child in China or South America or Africa (or even in the U.S.) that would appreciate the morsel that you are so ready to toss.
The duo I made today took something old, something new and something delicious. As the machine was doing all the hard work of making the dough, I made the sauce sprucing up some regular canned tomato sauce with about a ½ cup of sundried tomatoes in oil, chopped garlic and dried Italian seasonings. I let these swim together in a pot and when the taste had come to my liking, with a dash of salt and pepper, I whirred it around the food processor and voila, sauce.
Now to scavenger in the fridge. Half a red onion, half a yellow pepper, some mushrooms that are about to grow fungus all their own and some organic chicken sausage. Only about a cup of cheese for the two pizzas, but that would have to do.
One pizza had a mighty amount of sausage that I took out of its casing and sauted before hand. (Taking sausage out if its casing is very erotic as it feel like disrobing a condom.) In another pan I sauted the mushrooms in olive oil and butter and paired them with onions and garlic finishing off with some red ale to release the crunchy bits. This went as the main flavor of the second pizza. I put my sauce on both discs of dough and topped with thinly sliced red onions, peppers and cheese. The sausage pizza called for sliced Spanish olives and torn basil, while the mushrooms wanted some extra parmesan.
I baked them individually at 450 for about 20 minutes and let them rest for 15 minutes more – which is the hardest part. What helped me is taking the pups for a walk which kept me away from temptation and made me think that it was OK to indulge in this treat.
With plenty left over, and the food budget at a stand still, these pies will be my meals for the week, or until friends find out and come over to see if I need any help.