Pizza Glorious Pizza

I visited Whole Foods today and decided that I would make an authentic Italian Pizza. I didn’t know what I would do for the pizza dough (didn’t really feel like making my own and the frozen stuff looked gross). When I waltzed past the pizza station I looked at their counter and saw balls of dough. “That” I said to myself, “Is exactly what I am looking for.” As I was perusing this station what did I see but a basket of dough balls right in front of me! This, my friends, was quite serendipitous. I promptly grabbed a ball of dough and headed to the meat (deli kine) counter. I knew there was nothing that could top off an authentic Italian pizza better that prosciutto and arugula. Being single (momentarily as my husband is traveling) I decided that a variety of flavors needed to be created. I purchased some prosciutto and pancetta, then was off to the produce section for baby arugula. I had most of the ingredients that I needed at home so this was all I had to purchase tonight.

Well, that ball of dough that I bought ended up making 4 amazing pizzas and I had to call my neighbors and beg them to let me share my experiment. This is what I came up with:

First, I gathered all the ingredients that sounded good to me. Marinara sauce (with extra garlic of course), pesto, goat cheese, sun dried tomatoes(soak up the oil with paper towels), mozzarella, onions, bell peppers, tomatoes (soak up the excess liquid on paper towels), and zucchini. The onion and bell peppers were sliced and roasted in hot oil, the tomatoes and zucchini were sliced thin. I took the marinara sauce fortified with garlic and reduced it to get rid of some of the liquid.

Once all the veggie prep was done it was onto creation. I divided the dough in fourths and using a little flour worked each into a nice thin crust. There was absolutely no uniformity in any of the shapes. How they ended up was how I kept them. Each crust was brushed with olive oil and placed oil side down on a hot grill (as in Bar B Q). As that side was grilling I brushed the upper side with oil. When the one side was done (with the lid open), I removed the dough, flipped it (so the cooked side was up) and brought it back in the house for the toppings.

Here is where the real fun begins. For two of the crusts, I used my garlic fortified marinara sauce and for the other two I used a store bought pesto from Costco. On the marinara pizzas I added grated mozzarella and the grilled veggies. For one, I topped it with pancetta, for the other I baked as is (this one I added the prosciutto on top as soon as it was cooked). Both of these were topped with fresh baby arugula as soon as they were off the grill. The heat of the pizza wilted the arugula beautifully. On the pesto topped crusts, I only used veggies – this is a great way to appease your vegetarian friends along with the meat lovers. The pesto pizzas also were the happy recipients of the goat cheese.

I decided that this would be a really fun way to have a pizza party with your friends. Bring home the dough, prepare the ingredients and let your friends make their own combinations (reminds me of Diane and Bron’s pizza parties).

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