Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Pizza night

     photos, Dan Ryan

On pizza night instead of making one large pizza, I split a dough ball into four quarters to make four different kinds of pizzas. I've experimented like a mad scientist over the years with all sorts of ingredients—figs and gorgonzola, brie and mushroom, chicken sausage, even Spam and pineapple (totally kidding on that last one, which is just so wrong). But you get the idea. Ultimately I've decided that the simpler the pizza the better. I use the pizza stone that Dan and I got as a wedding present 18+ years ago and when I crank the oven heat up to nuclear (550°) the bottom crust is always crispy and crunchy. One of these summers we'll make an outside pizza oven, but until then, this technique will have to do because it beats take-out pizza by a Roman mile.

Clockwise from top left is a white pizza with pancetta and fontina cheese and lots of fresh ground pepper, to the right of that is a pizza Margherita with a mix of cheeses (provolone, fresh mozzarella and fontina), topped by an arugula salad, below that is another white pizza with shrimp, scallions, and mix of cheeses (It's worth noting, that the Italians frown upon mixing cheese with seafood, but what can I say? It works really well here.), and finally, a classic pizza Margherita with basil—the colors of the Italian flag. Don't forget to drizzle the 'za with extra olive oil just before serving, it adds a delicious flavor.

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