The hubs and I have completely spoiled ourselves with homemade pizza. We literally can no longer enjoy pizza delivery because of this recipe! I do cheat a little bit and use store-bought frozen pizza dough from the Whole Foods freezer section. The whole wheat dough tastes wheat-y and comes out thin, crispy, and chewy all at the same time. (Honestly, I tried making my own dough once but yeast is scary and I don’t like to self-sabotage, especially when I’m hungry, so here you have it.) You have to plan ahead, because the dough takes 5 hours to thaw. The hardest part about this recipe is the sauce, which is totally easy! Once you learn how to make this homemade marinara you will have a super simple secret sauce weapon in your pocket!
- 3 cloves garlic, zested
- 1/2 red onion, diced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 can San Marzano whole roma tomatoes
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar (you can also substitute a couple of tablespoons of shredded carrots)
- 1/4 cup chopped basil leaves
- salt & pepper to taste
Ingredients (pizza topping):
- fresh mozzarella
- fresh basil
- sautéed carmelized onions with mushrooms
- reduced balsamic for drizzling
- goat cheese
- pepperoni, prosciutto, ham (the hubs likes his without meat, I like a little ‘roni!)
Instructions for sauce:
Heat the olive oil on stove over medium heat in a large saucepan. Sauté the chopped onion until translucent, and then add garlic until fragrant. Add your San Marzano tomatoes and break them up with a spoon the best you can. Add the tomato paste, brown sugar, couple pinches of salt, and a couple cranks of pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let everything simmer together for a while. The chopped basil is added about 30 minutes before you use the sauce. If you like your sauce chunky, leave it as is. If you prefer it smooth (like i do!) then get your blender or immersion stick blender out and start pureeing!
Instructions for the dough:
To thaw, place the frozen dough in a large bowl with a kitchen towel covering it. Let sit for 2.5 hours, then flip over, drizzle a little olive oil over top and sides, replace towel on top and let sit for another 2.5 hours. Once completely thawed, it will puff up a bit. Heat the oven to 425 and depending on your desired crust thickness, cut your dough into pieces. I like to cut the dough into 4ths, but we prefer out pizza super thin. If you like a thick crust, use your hands, not a rolling pin, if you like a thin crust, use a rolling pin, not your hands. Working one piece at a time, roll your dough out to your desired thickness, then drizzle a little olive oil over top and rub it into the dough. Prick all over with a fork (so you don’t have bubbles), add a little salt & pepper (trust me, a little coarse salt adds that perfect little crunch), and place in the oven for 6 minutes. It will be partially cooked once you remove it from the oven. Now are ready to add your toppings.
For Margherita pizza, we top ours with sauce, caramelized onions and mushrooms, then fresh mozzarella. If the motz is packed in water, then wrap a paper towel around it to squeeze as much moisture out of the cheese as possible. Rip the mozzarella, don’t cut it. (NOTE: To caramelize onions and mushrooms together, I use sliced baby bella mushrooms and a whole red onion, sliced thinly into rings. Heat a non-stick pan on medium and add a tablespoon of olive oil, sauté the onions with the lid on, add the mushrooms after 20 minutes, lid on, add a drizzle of balsamic after a while too. Cook until desired caramelness is achieved.) Bake your topped pizza at 425 for another 6-8 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Finish with fresh torn basil, bits of goat cheese, and a drizzle of reduced balsamic.
Tip: If you don’t want to stink up your whole house reducing your own balsamic, the Silly Goose over in E. Nashville sells it by the jar for like $10 (they call it liquid gold, and boy is it ever!).