Pizza Night!

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When pizza is homemade, it isn’t even unhealthy!

Think about how thirsty you get when you have a delicious greasy take-out pizza- that’s from the mountains of salt they use. Not a problem with this pizza! The high-quality ingredients have plenty of flavor and therefore don’t need all that extra salt.

The great thing about homemade pizza is that you can throw anything you’ve got on it, and it will probably be delicious. This is my favorite.

Make up a pizza crust (or two, or more) and bake it for a few minutes, then bring it back out to put on the toppings. This helps to keep the crust from getting soggy. You will still have a delicious pizza without this step, but it will be messy!

I bake my crust on a pizza stone in the oven. The traditional way of getting the crust off of the paddle and into the oven and back is to put corn meal on the paddle before you put the crust down. Maybe there is a secret that I have not discovered, but I find this to be difficult and messy. I put a piece of parchment paper under the crust, and pull paper, crust and all onto the pizza stone and then back onto the paddle. You can just bake the pizza on top of the parchment paper. This is very easy, no mess, and helps keep the crust from getting stretched when you put it in. It will also keep any runover from the pizza sauce out of your oven. I’m always looking for a way to make less of a mess.

If you have fresh tomatoes to use in the sauce, that is ideal, but this time of year I can’t imagine who would have them, so get canned ones. Our home canned tomatoes are running low, so we bought some. You can get canned Pompeii tomatoes, which are better for sauces than regular ones.

For my toppings, I put caramelized onions, which make anything better, basil, roasted red peppers, and mushrooms. Then on top add your sliced fresh mozzarella and bake it! When you bring it out grate on some parmigiano reggiano. It is expensive, but so worth it!

Chances are, you will have more pizza sauce and mozzarella than you will need if you are only making one pizza. Put the sauce in a plastic container and put it with the mozzarella in a freezer bag. You can store it in the refrigerator or even in the freezer, and pull them out another time, giving you a good head start on a meal. If you are planning on having your next pizza in the next day or two, you can even make up enough dough for two crusts and put one in the refrigerator. You will just have to assemble your pizza when you get ready to eat.

Always look for the little shortcuts that make life easier. A little preparation ahead of time saves a lot later!

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