dinner No. 4: pizza
Who doesn't like pizza? Pickle doesn't, that's who! Chris and I enjoyed this pizza a lot. Pickle ate the apples in the salad. A somewhat successful dinner ... hopefully it's more successful when you make it. When I made this for the photo shoot, I forgot to sauté the spinach when making the sauce, so it was chiffonaded and sprinkled on top. It was just one of those crazy post-work nights when nothing goes as planned ... but, I got dinner on the table and we ate together. Success!
This pizza is simple and straightforward so be sure to use the best ingredients possible so all the flavors can shine. Homemade dough (or very delicious store-bought) and homemade sauce cannot be substituted. The sauce freezes well, so any leftovers can be stashed away for the next pizza night at your place.
Pizza with homemade tomato sauce and Genoa salami
Serves two adults and two hungry bambinos, with some leftovers
For the sauce
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 small carrot finely grated
1 large onion, diced
3 springs of fresh thyme
1 cup of spinach leaves
1-28 oz can of whole plum tomatoes, blitzed in the food processor until chunky
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
a few grinds of black peppercorns
In a medium saucepan over medium, heat oil until shimmery. Add onion and saute until softened and translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Add carrot and saute for 1-2 minutes, until softened. Add the spinach leaves and saute until wilted, 1-2 minutes as well. Add the tomatoes, thyme, salt and pepper. Simmer over medium-low heat for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt or pepper if needed.
For the pizza
1 batch of homemade pizza dough (see my recipe here)
1/3 cup of pizza sauce: see above
8 oz. mozzarella or provolone cheese, grated
1/4 c. of finely grated parmigiano reggiano (optional)
9 thin slices of Genoa Salami
Equipment: 1 sheet pan
At least 30 minutes in advance, preheat oven to 450 degrees. Make sure that a rack is positioned at the lowest level possible.
On a flour-dusted counter, pat out dough evenly with your fingers (or use a rolling pin) to the size of your sheet pan. Using a rolling pin, lift the dough and place it on the pan. Pressing the edges of the dough out to the edges of the pan, if needed.
Top the dough with the sauce (add more sauce if you like that, but note that the more sauce you add the less cripsy the crust will be), spreading it with back of a spoon to within 1/4-inch of the edge. Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese evenly over the sauce and then top with the slices of salami. Shower each slice of salami with the grated parmigiano.
Place the pizza in the oven and bake for 15 minutes (give or take a couple of minutes, depending on your oven). The pizza should be bubbly, browned and the salami should have crisp edges. Transfer with a metal spatula to a cutting board. Cut pizza into wedges and serve immediately with apple-celery slaw (see recipe below).
Apple-Celery Slaw with toasted nuts
Serves 4 adults and/or bambinos
1 large apple, julienned (1/8-inch-thick matchsticks)
2 stalks of celery, julienned (1/8-inch-thick matchsticks)
1 teaspoon Sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon maple syrup
large pinch of kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper -- 2-3 grinds
2 teaspoons toasted walnut oil (optional)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons toasted, chopped peanuts
2 tablespoons toasted, chopped walnuts
In a large serving bowl, whisk together the vinegar, maple syrup, salt, pepper and walnut oil (if using). While whisking, slowly whisk in the olive oil to create an emulsified liquid. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed ... adding more vinegar, more maple syrup, more olive oil, etc.
Add the apples and celery and gently fold in dressing to coat evenly. Serve garnished with either the toasted peanuts for the kids and the walnuts for the adults.