Posted by: timscooking | February 13, 2010

It’s Pizza Night Again!

I’m always trying to come up with new variations on the classics to “kick ’em up a notch.” Last night, I added a new twist to a Margherita pizza (mozzarella, tomato and basil) by adding homemade pizza sauce, mushrooms and roasted plum tomatoes. You can find the roasted tomato recipe in my January 22 entry, “Tomatoes in Winter.”

The sauce is an easy no-cook recipe consisting of one 15 ounce can of diced tomatoes with garlic, basil and oregano, one 8 ounce can of tomato sauce, a tablespoon of Italian seasoning blend and a quarter teaspoon of dried red pepper flakes. At just a half cup per pizza, this recipe makes enough for 3 pizzas. It keeps well in a refrigerated, air-tight container to use within two weeks.

I sliced the mushrooms into half-inch dice, stretched the dough out on a sheet pan with a raised edge to catch any stray sauce or cheese that might ooze out and spread a half cup of the sauce over the crust. I chopped the roasted tomatoes and added those next, along with a half pound of boccaccino, small balls of fresh mozzarella, which I cut in half and the mushrooms. The whole pie baked in a pre-heated 500 degree oven for ten minutes. Once the pie was out of the oven, I stacked ten large basil leaves, rolled them into a cigar shape and thinly sliced them, then I sprinkled the resulting basil shreds on the hot pie. The hot cheese cooks the basil, releasing all of that great basil flavor.

Along with the pizza, I made an antipasto salad. The actual ingredients can vary, according to what you may have on hand. This one had cucumber, marinated artichokes and diced roasted red pepper, celery, red onion, grape tomatoes and feta cheese. I dressed the salad with chopped garlic, two teaspoons of fresh lemon juice, the leftover marinade from the artichokes and red pepper, third of a cup of extra-virgin olive oil, salt and pepper.

Another night of eating luke warm pizza from a box has been averted.



  1. This sounds like a good no meat option for Friday’s during Lent!

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