“The Pizza”

THE PIZZA

It’s been months since I first made this pizza (I’ve made it several times since since then too), but I’ve held off on posting it for two simple reasons: it is too damn good to describe and too delicious to name.

I just can’t wait any longer to share this little miracle with you all though, so I’m simply going to refer to it as The Pizza.

How does it taste, you ask? Let me paint you a word picture.

Every ingredient, every part, every bite in The Pizza is positively bursting with delicious flavor. The sauce alone is something to marvel at; with some bread, it would be a noteworthy appetizer in its own right. It’s full of finely diced sauteed mushrooms that melt into the tomato sauce as it simmers, creating a whole new meaty depth of flavor. The shallots and sun-dried tomatoes add another layer of zest and complexity.

But The Pizza hardly ends at the sauce. The cheese trifecta of mozzarella, parmesan and mascarpone brings creamy, sharp, and nutty notes together over each slice. That richness is punctuated by earthy fresh basil, spicy arugula and tart balsamic vinegar. And there’s extra sliced mushrooms as well – because why not?

So the next time you have a free evening go ahead and dim the lights, light some candles, crank up the smooth jazz and make yourself The Pizza. It’s a culinary imperative.

“The Pizza”

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 packet of dried yeast
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 shallot, sliced thin
  • 6 mushrooms, finely diced
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes, finely diced
  • 1/2 to 1 cup olive oil (depending on saucepan size)
  • 1 head of garlic, separated and skinned
  • 1 ball of mozzarella (at least 1 cup) halved and sliced
  • 1/2 cup parmesan, grated
  • 4 mushrooms, sliced thinly
  • 1/3 cup mascarpone
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, shredded
  • 1/2 cup arugula
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, yeast and salt and mix thoroughly. Add the water and olive and knead until you can create a firm, smooth ball. Lightly coat the ball with a dash of olive oil, cover and let stand until it has doubled in size, about one hour (this is a good time to prep all your other ingredients).
  2. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to the desired sized. Place the dough on a pizza stone or a lightly greased cookie sheet.
  3. Heat a skillet to medium and add a splash of olive oil. Add the diced shallot and saute until translucent. Add the finely diced mushroom and saute until the begin to sweat, about 3 minutes. Add the sun-dried tomatoes and the tomato sauce, reduce heat to medium-low and saute for 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove to a bowl and set aside.

Sauce

  1. Add the whole cloves of garlic to a small saucepan and fill with enough olive oil to fully submerge the garlic. Heat slowly to medium-low and poach the garlic in the olive oil for 4 minutes. Remove oil and garlic from the saucepan and reserve.
  2. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Pause to appreciate how positively wonderful olive oil-poached garlic is. (But really – stop and think about it for a minute)
  3. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to the desired sized. Place the dough on a pizza stone or a lightly greased cookie sheet.
  4. Spread out the mushroom-tomato sauce evenly over the dough and top with the mozzerella, parmesan, and sliced mushrooms. Sprinkle the poached garlic over the top and drizzle with the reserved oil.

IMG_1892

  1. Put the pizza in the oven and bake until the cheese has melted and the edges are golden brown, about 17 minutes.
  2. Remove the pizza from the oven. In order, add several dollops of mascarpone, shredded basil, and arugula. Drizzle a little balsamic vinegar over the top.
  3. Bask in Pizza Bliss.
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