Pizza with Pizazz

Pizza making is a trade that has been in my family for generations. My grandfather, Carlo Giardina, immigrated from Ragusa, Sicily in the 1930s, and was one of the first people to open a pizzeria in New York City called LaBella’s. My parents took up trade in the 1980s with a very successful pizzeria/restaurant in Wayne, NJ called Bachagaloop’s. Although I have no desire to start up my own pizza joint, I felt it was only natural for me to try to make a homemade pizza for Carmella and me. Although we LOVE toppings, I figured they should be avoided when making pizza for the first time. As it turns out the pizza was pretty easy to make, and tasted damned good. Carmella gave me one suggestion that I agree with; the dough needed a little more salt.

Below is a link for the dough recipe. I’ve also typed out the sauce recipe that my father concocted. Enjoy and tell us how yours comes out.

– Carlo

INGREDIENTS FOR PIZZA:

  • Homemade pizza dough (see link below)
  • Fresh pizza sauce (see sauce recipe below)
  • Sliced whole milk or buffalo milk (bufala) mozarella cheese
  • Chopped fresh basil


DOUGH LINK:
http://www.annamariavolpi.com/pizza_recipe.html

INGREDIENTS FOR FRESH PIZZA SAUCE:

  • 1 can (28 oz) of imported crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 3-4 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
  • tbsp of oregano
  • 1 clove of garlic finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp of chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tbsp of organic sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of freshly ground pepper

DIRECTIONS FOR SAUCE:

Combine all ingredients listed above and chill for 30 minutes.

DIRECTIONS FOR PIZZA:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450F.
  2. With a small ladle spread the sauce evenly around the dough leaving about 1/2 an inch along the edge for a crust.
  3. Bake the pizza for about 12-14 minutes before adding fresh mozzarella.
  4. Place pizza back in the oven and cook until mozzarella is melted and the crust crispy and golden brown.
  5. Upon removing the pie sprinkle a generous amount of freshly chopped basil.
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