Saturday, October 18, 2008

"Homemade" pizza

I put "homemade" in quotes because I cheated on an important part: the crust.

Sure, Daniel and I were hungry shoppers, and shopping for groceries while hungry is a bad idea. But we didn't get too much stuff, and we didn't have dinner plans, so the pizza crust was thoroughly justified.

And while it was an impulse buy, it was also a good decision. I've made "homemade" pizzas with store-bought crust before, and I'd just about given up on them. Until now!

We bought a Rustic Crust Tuscan Six Grain Pizza Crust. (If you click on that and check out their Web site, the answer is YES, I realize their frozen flatbreads cost an arm, a leg, or a first-born child. It's crazy!) But try a Rustic Crust pizza crust out if you get the chance. I can't speak for all the varieties -- and there are several, including Classic Sourdough and Cheesy Herb -- but the Tuscan Six Grain was awesome.

"Homemade" pizza with sausage, onion, and portabello mushrooms (makes 8 slices)

1 Rustic Crust Tuscan Six Grain Pizza Crust

enough olive oil with which to brush crust

1 portabello mushroom cap, chopped

1/2 medium or large red onion, sliced

pizza sauce of your choosing (we used a Muir Glen roasted garlic pasta sauce)

about 12 large, fresh basil leaves

5-6 ounces of sausage of your choosing (we used Lou's Famous Italian chicken sausage -- yum! -- but I do love the fattier, non-chicken Italian sausage, too)

generous sprinkling of garlic granules

shredded mozzarella or shredded Italian cheese blend, such as Organic Valley's mix

freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1.) Although the package of the chicken sausage stated it was fully cooked, we browned it in a skillet over medium heat for about 4 minutes a side (no oil required). Slice the sausage thinly after browning.

2.) Spread olive oil on the pizza crust, then spread the tomato sauce on top of that.

3.) Spread the sausage, onion, and mushroom on the pie. Lay out the basil leaves evenly, so each slice will have a leaf. (You can also chop them and spread them around, if you prefer.)

4.) Top with garlic granules, cheese, and black pepper.

5.) Turn the oven down to 425 and bake the pizza directly on the middle oven rack for 15-20 minutes, or until the cheese just begins to lightly brown. Serve with red pepper flakes on the side.

Today's fun food fact: Have you heard about the "I Want NY Pizza" site, where you can order New York pies that get delivered to your door? It's true; that's what they do. I haven't tried it out yet, but I plan to. I LOVE pizza, and I've eaten pizza in so many countries, it's either impressive or repulsive... The best pizza, hands-down, is in New Jersey and New York City. You just can't get the same thing anywhere else. I'll let you know what I think of this place after I try it (which will be at a time my husband and I can splurge, so it may be a while).

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