Images by Jamie Grumet. Recipe and text by Margie.
Before I start with the recipes, I just had a flash-back of a pizza story. I was very pregnant with our first child, Ali. Tom was in Graduate School and although Tom had about 5 jobs to keep us going, I was the “Big” Breadwinner! Hah! Our big “splurge” was when we would go to a pizza restaurant in Berkeley. About 5 married couples would join us, of which so happens the other wives were each expecting their first baby too! We all waddled in together! (I think I saw the cook “cringe” when he saw us pregnant women walk in, not to mention many of the husbands were Cal Football players! The place was called Pizza Haven. The deal was, for $1.50/per person, you could eat as much pizza as you wanted. The cooks were continually making pizzas with many different toppings. The waiters would walk by the tables offering the customer a slice of pizza. If you liked the kind offered you could take one, or wait for the next one to come by. No time limit, stay and eat until you were full! I think about how I waddled into the place so pregnant, but after Pizza Haven, we ALL waddled out of the place!
About Tom’s Secret Pizza Sauce:
My husband, Tom, has his Graduate Degree in Human Nutrition from UC Berkeley. He did research in many areas dealing with Human Nutrition, but mainly nutrition during pregnancy. One of his jobs he had in the summer was working at a couple of food labs that did research. One day he came home with this recipe for the Best Pizza Sauce! (I can barely read his handwriting in his original recipe.)
Tom’s Secret “Lab” Pizza Sauce Ingredients:
The Caramelized Onions and Chili Powder are the secrets to this Sauce!
- 1 Large Can Tomato Paste
- 1 TBS Olive Oil
- 1 large Onion, chopped
- 1/4 Cup Ketchup
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 1/2 tsp dried Oregano
- 1/2 tsp Paprika
- 1/2 tsp Pepper
- 1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1/4 tsp Onion Powder
- 1 tsp Chili Powder
Heat a medium skillet over medium high heat , add 1 TBS Olive Oil, and begin browning the onions. Turn the heat down to medium after a couple of minutes. Continue cooking the onions until they are very brown, they will be caramelized at this point; that’s what you want.
Turn heat to low. Stir in the Tomato Paste, Ketchup and all of the Spices, cook for about a minute or two. The Sauce will be pretty thick. Take off heat. This Sauce is ready to spread on your favorite Pizza Dough.
About Margie’s Fresh Neapolitan Style Pizza Sauce:
There are so many Pizza Sauce recipes out there, as well as Pizza Dough recipes, the hunt was to find a great Uncooked Pizza Sauce. (I researched mine too, Tommy!)
This one is really easy and light. It’s a good one to use for a Margarita Pizza. That would be a pizza topped with the Neapolitan Pizza Sauce, Fresh Mozzarella and Fresh Basil.
Margie’s Fresh Neapolitan Style Pizza Sauce Ingredients:
- One 14-Ounce Can Italian Plum Tomatoes
- I like San Marzano Brand
- 2 TBS Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 tsp Dried Oregano
- 1 or 2 Garlic Cloves, finely chopped
- A dash of Crushed Red Peppers, opt.
- Kosher Salt and Pepper
To Begin, drain the Plum Tomatoes
(You can save the juice for something else)
Press out as much liquid as you can, otherwise the pizza will get too soggy.
Chop the Tomatoes coarsely and put in a large bowl.
Add Chopped Garlic, Crushed Red Peppers, 1/2 tsp Salt and 1/2 tsp Pepper
Drizzle in a little Olive Oil in and stir. Taste to see if more spices are desired.
About the Perfect Pizza Dough Recipe
This recipe was one I jotted down from a TV cooking show a while ago. They were interviewing a sweet Italian pizza maker from New Jersey. He was so much fun to watch. He had been making pizzas for many, many years; people stood for hours to get some of his pizza. This recipe is just perfect if you like a thin and crispy crust!
Ingredients for Pizza Dough:
* (This Dough needs to refrigerate for at least 24 hours.)
- 16 1/2 Ounces of Bread Flour
- 2 tsp Sugar
- 1/2 tsp Dry Yeast..(This isn’t an error, it’s only 1/2 tsps, IF you keep the dough over-night in the fridge. I use 1 package if I am hurrying and use it the same day.)
- 1 1/3 Cups of Ice Water
- 1 1/2 tsp Salt (not Kosher)
- 1 TBS Vegetable Oil
In food processor, combine Bread Flour, Sugar and Dry Yeast. Pulse a few times. With the processor running, add the following through the feed tube of the processor— 1 Cup of the Ice Cold Water, Salt and 1 TBS Vegetable Oil. Pulse until the dough starts coming together. If it is still very dry, add the remaining Ice Water. *Note: The Pizza Maker stated that the amount of water depends on the humidity in the air; sometimes it takes a little more, sometimes a little less.
Pulse until the dough comes together and looks satiny.
Take the dough out and put on floured counter. Knead for about 1 minute..it should be shiny… and pat into a ball. Put dough into an oiled bowl, cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of 24 hours. (Maximum 3 days). * Note: The Pizza Maker stated that the 24 hours in the refrigerator is essential.
*To get a crispy crust , you need to have the very hot oven- 500 degrees. Pizza Stones are great, they help a home oven replicate a Pizza Oven. **If you don’t have the Pizza Stone or Pizza Peel, you can still make the Pizza, use a flat cookie sheet lined with parchment paper to cook the pizza on; place the oven rack in lower third of oven.
When using a Pizza Stone, do as follows:
- Use the very lowest rack in the oven and put the Pizza Stone on it. Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Wait an hour.
- Take out the refrigerated Pizza Dough.
- Knead the dough a few times, then put dough on a floured counter and divide in half.
- Form each into a ball, (cover the second ball of dough with a slightly damp cloth then plastic wrap until ready to use). With a rolling pin, roll-out dough. Keep flour under dough where you’re rolling. ** I use my hands to work it also. I sometimes let gravity do some work and put the back of my fist under the center of the dough and let it stretch some that way. Work it until it is about a 12 inch disc.
- Put some Semolina Flour or Cornmeal on the Pizza Peel.
- Put dough disc on top of peel.
- Pinch around the edge to form an edge. (It will be about 13 inches now.)
To Finish Pizza:
- Brush top of Pizza with Olive Oil
- Put about 1/2 Cup of Pizza Sauce on Pizza.
- Spread evenly, stop 1/4 inch from edge.
Here are some suggestions:
- #1 Turkey or Pork Sausages sliced 1/4 inch thick Roasted Garlic Cloves Fresh Mozzarella, grated Sliced Red Bell Peppers Red Onions, thinly sliced Kalamata Olives
- #2 Fresh Sliced Plum Tomatoes Fresh Mozzarella Basil Leaves
- #3 1 Cup Whole Milk (not fresh) Mozzarella 1/4 Cup Fresh Parmesan Cheese, grated
- After the toppings are set, open oven and with a gentle sliding motion of the Pizza Peel, slide the Pizza onto the Pizza Stone. (The Cornmeal will help it slide off.)
Bake for 10-15 minutes. (I keep my oven light on and peek in often.) But check after 10 min. and watch closely. You want the edges to begin to brown, but not burn. Take out and place on a board to cut with a Pizza Cutter.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Albertsons & Safeway. The opinions and text are all mine.