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4 Feb

I feel such a strong affinity with Italy- the lifestyle, the landscape, the language, the fashion, the food. Normale!

I often find myself perusing Italian real estate, lost in visions of Vespas and Valentino and eating gelato with wild abandon. My time in Italy has thus far been limited to a few days- a trip to Tuscany for my honey’s birthday one year- but I’ve clocked years in my imagination.

Some mornings I wake with the heady scent of lavender, cypress and sunflowers dancing about my mind. These are Italian days and I know what must be done. I must give myself over to them completely. I must let the little old Italian grandma inside me come out!


  • Cadbury Burnt Almond Dark Chocolate, to indulge while I cook and invariably watch Under the Tuscan Sun
  • Flour, 3 1/4 cups + extra for dusting
  • Rapid-Rise Yeast, 1 package
  • Salt, 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon
  • Sugar, 1 tablespoon + 1/4 tablespoon
  • Warm Water, 1 cup
  • White Wine, 1/4 cup
  • Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, 4 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon + extra for coating
  • Local Honey, 1 tablespoon
  • Butter, 1 tablespoon
  • Shallots, 1/2 cup, finely chopped
  • Celery, 1/4 cup, finely chopped
  • Garlic Cloves, 5, minced
  • Passata, 2 cups
  • Tomato Paste, 6 oz.
  • Vine Ripe Tomatoes, 2, chopped
  • Ground Black Pepper, 1 teaspoon
  • Dried Oregano, 2 teaspoons
  • Fennel Seed, 1 teaspoon
  • Bay Leaf, 1 leaf
  • Habanero Pepper, 1/4 teaspoon
  • Parmigiano Reggiano, 4 tablespoons + extra for pizza
  • Fresh Basil, several leaves
  • Fresh Rosemary, a sprig
  • Italian Parsley, a sprig
  • Toppings to Personal Specifications: Buffalo Mozzarella, Sundried Tomatoes, Peperoni, etc.
  • Pizza Stone

Dough c/o Mario Batali

  • Combine flour, yeast, 1 tablespoon salt, 1 tablespoon sugar in large bowl.
  • Make a well in the center and add water, wine, 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon olive oil, and honey.
  • Stir until stiff and then mix with hands until dough comes together.
  • Lightly dust a work surface with flour and knead dough gently until smooth and elastic.
  • Add dough to an oiled bowl and turn to coat. Cover bowl and let rise for 1 hour.

Sauce c/o Vancity Allie

  • Saute garlic, shallots, and celery together in butter and 2 tablespoons olive oil.
  • Add passata, tomato paste, and fresh tomato.
  • Add 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon sugar, 1 teaspoon pepper.
  • Add dry herbs: oregano, fennel, bay leaf, and habanero pepper.
  • Add grated Parmigiano Reggiano.
  • Let simmer for 30 minutes.
  • When ready to use, add fresh herbs: basil, rosemary, and parsley.


  • Preheat oven to 500 degrees with pizza stone inside.
  • Roll dough out and place it on the hot pizza stone.
  • Spread pizza sauce.
  • Add desired toppings.
  • Cook for 15 minutes

The pizza is served well with a fine Italian Chianti.