Blog of an aspiring foodie

Pizza at last

Posted by beer_chris on 1-January-2006

Well, after 3 weeks of fits and starts, planning for it and never quite getting the time to do it, I finally got around to making homemade pizza. It's the dough that takes the time, as it is a yeasted bread and so has to rise for 1-2 hours. However, as I put this together, I decided to concoct my own marinara, which I think is pretty darn good. I was inspired to do this by the mainly simple recipes I was finding – I just figured that something that made up as much of the ingredients of a pizza ought to have a lot more flavor and not just be a straight tomato sauce.

Ytee's Mighty Marinara (n=1)
2 tbsp oil (I used the drippings from the italian sausage I browned for the pizza)
1 tbsp fennel seed, ground
3 cloves garlic, pressed
2 anchovy fillets
1 28 oz can whole tomatoes and juice
1-2 tbsp tomato paste
1/4 c sun dried tomatoes + oil
1/8 cup fresh oregano (torn)
1/8 cup fresh basil (torn)
1 bay leaf

Heat the oil, garlic & anchovy until the garlic becomes aromatic. Add all other ingredients and simmer until thickened. The whole tomatoes will break up, but be sure to leave some chunks.

The pizza dough came from my Kitchenaid mixer book – it was OK, but I didn't par-bake it first, and so it was pretty wimpy and not crisp. I also made it with all-purpose flour – I'll probably make it with bread flour next time, supposed to give it a little more 'chew'. I used primarily mozzerella, but included some medium sharp cheddar and some really sharp provolone, which ended up not being enough to even taste. I used sandwich size pepperoni slices (that was all they had at the deli and I was not going to buy the bag stuff from the cold lunchmeat section), and that turned out pretty good – the fresh sliced pepperoni was easy to bite through (as I had expected), and the slices were big enough so that every bite had some pepperoni in it without having to overload the pizza with it.

Baked it at 450 for about 20 minutes.

The marinara really made the pizza. It was great, even without a really crisp crust. This marinara is SO EASY, and has sold me on making my own tomato sauce instead of buying the oversweetened jarred stuff.

I think the anchovy can be left out – I'll try that next time as Jaime got scared when she saw that on the ingredient list. It's supposed to add depth of flavor without fishiness, I think that was accomplished, but not sure if it was already there with the sun dried and paste. We'll see if n=2 without anchovy as as good. Also, the bay flavor was strong, but I really liked that – thought it balanced really well with the fresh oregano and ground/roasted fennel seed flavor. Would NOT use dried herbs in this by any means. Dried oregano to me tastes like soap.


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