Saturday, February 20, 2010

Mama Mia Pizzeria!

My family and I love my homemade pizza. It's fun to make, and if I have time for it I will let my 3 year old help me. It's always good, yet never exactly the same depending on what ingredients I have on hand.

Last night's creation was a winner. Sometimes I make my own dough from scratch but occasionally I find it more convenient and just as tasty to use Trader Joe's (fresh,not frozen) dough found in their refrigerator aisle. The key is to remove the dough from the packaging and put on a floured cutting board for at least 30 minutes. This will help make the dough easier to work with.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Put a pizza stone in the oven and get it really hot. Meanwhile, flour your hands and rolling pin and flatten out the ball of dough. I don't really fully roll it out. I actually start stretching it with my hands underneath the dough until its pretty thin. I take the pizza stone out of the oven and put the dough on it and spread the pizza sauce (Trader Joe's also) and sprinkle the toppings. Cooking time from this point may vary depending on what toppings you use, but typically 20 minutes does the'll know if you see the cheese is fully melted and the crust is slightly browned.

My toppings were 1/2 pepperoni and sliced black olives with mozarella cheese only...the other 1/2 was the "grown-up pizza". You will need:

1 cup grape tomatoes sliced in half
1/2 large onion, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 can quartered artichtoke hearts
sliced black olives
feta cheese
shredded mozzarella cheese

Take a large skillet and heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil on medium-high heat. Carmelize the onions, and whenjust about done throw in the tomatoes until they are heated through and have a "roasted" appearance to them. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

After spreading a thin layer of pizza sauce on the dough, I sprinkled a light layer of mozzarella cheese which I find helps hold the pizza ingredients together especially when they are a bit chunky and heavy. Then I followed with the feta cheese, the quartered artichoke hearts, the carmelized onion and tomato mixture, sliced olives and more mozzarella to hold it together. Pop back into the oven until heated through and cheese is melted, approximately 20 minutes.

Serve with red wine (optional). Delicious!

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