Thursday, January 8, 2009

Tighten Up Your Belt and You'll Have to Loosen Your Belt

The other day when I was making the sausage roll, I set aside some of the sausage to make a sausage pizza. I am very selfish when it comes to my pizza, I either like it plain, or with pepperoni. If pressed (and Jeffrey is home) I will eat it with black olives and mushrooms. In case you haven't figured, it out, I don't like sausage on my pizza...

I decided that I would be nice to Marc tonight and since I had the leftover sausage, I would make him some sausage pizza. I always make two pies even though it's just the two of us, because I love it left over, and I can eat it all week, I never get tired of pizza.

I love pizza, but I have to admit, I like New York City Pizza, thin crust, cut in triangles and very crisp. When we moved here (upstate New York, I learned to eat my pizza with a thicker crust, but it is never crisp enough for my taste,) and cut into squares, but not like even just have to see it to know what I'm talking about.

In the city, they call a rectangular pizza, a Sicilian pie. I also love this, even though the crust is is always crispy too. As a kid, I think I ate pizza almost everyday...

In those days, a quarter got you a slice and a soda...I know, I'm old!!!!!

I started to make my pizza at home, not to save money, but because it was the only way I could get a nice crisp crust. All the recipe books tell you, you need a pizza stone to get a crisp crust. I have found that if your oven is hot enough, you can get a nice crust just the same.

When I was growing up, my mother used to make pizza dough from scratch every Friday because in those days, Catholics couldn't eat meat on Friday. You could smell the aroma from the dough as it rose, the aroma of the sauce as it simmered, and the aroma of the pizza as it was baking. I often make my own dough, and always make my own sauce. I will do a post of how to make the dough and the sauce on another day.

Because I was trying to get dinner on the table and had some dough left from the night I did the sausage bread, I used the store bought dough, my own sauce, and the leftover sausage. I must tell you, if you are a family on a budget, it is so easy to make this pizza and you will save a bundle. The dough is 1.00 a bag (one bag makes one pie), when I make the sauce, I make 4 cans of crushed tomatoes at a time and freeze it in 2 cup containers (each container will make two pies) the only additional cost you will have is the mozzarella, and whatever else you want to put on it. I use the fresh mozzarella, but if you buy the shredded in a bag, it works great as well (and it's much less expensive). You could probably make two pies (with extra sauce for 2 more meals) for about $12.00. That's a lot less than the average 15.00 for a large cheese with no toppings.
Almost all supermarkets carry fresh pizza dough, ours carries about 4 different brands. We have one local store here called Napoli's that has the BEST dough outside of homemade I have ever tasted.

All you will need is two bags of pizza dough, some marinara sauce
(you can use a jar if you must) but in a pinch you can make a really quick sauce by taking (2) 15 ounce cans of Hunt's Tomato sauce, about 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed, a little salt and pepper and a few shakes of oregano, and a drop of olive oil. Place the olive oil in a small saucepan, heat it, add the garlic, saute for a few seconds, add the tomato sauce, salt and pepper and oregano. Cook for about 15 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.

Let the dough come to room temperature, it's much easier to handle this way. Place a few drops of olive oil on a cookie sheet (use a regular pan and not aluminum foil pan for this). Use a paper towel to coat the bottom and the sides of the pan. place the dough in the middle of the pan, trying to keep a rectangular shape (you can also do this on a circular pan, but I prefer the rectangle here). Gently with the tips of your fingers, push on the dough to get it to where it will fill the whole pan. Be gentle, this dough is not very forgiving if it tears. It may pull away from the sides of the pan a little. If you are careful, you can flip the dough over and restretch it. Sometimes that solves the problem.

Don't be overly concerned if it pulls away from the sides a bit, not a big deal

Place a very thin layer of sauce over the dough (too much will cause a soggy pizza, and the cheese will give off some liquid as it melts, and help spread the sauce as well).

Place the mozzarella over the sauce (as I said, you can use the shredded)
I use the Bel Gioioso fresh mozzarella
and slice it paper thin or use a cheese grater
I used both shredded and fresh here to show you

Place your sausage and pepperoni on next

Sprinkle with grated cheese

add just a little more sauce over the top of the pies

Bake for 15 minutes and then reverse the pans front to back and top to bottom

and bake about another 10 minutes

We like our very crisp as you can see...

If you don't want your that crisp, take it out
a little sooner

I slice the pizza with a scissor, much easier that way...

This is really delicious, much less expensive
than the pizzeria and really
takes no time at all


  1. I love homemade pizza. Your pictures look great - all brown and crunchy looking. That's one reason I don't like takeout pizza much - they barely melt the cheese!

    But I'm one of those folks that insists on using a pizza stone. The crust is so good off of a stone. Especially the really, really thin ones.

  2. Hi Nancy,

    I agree, I actually have a pizza stone, heavens knows where I put it, but I usually do three to four pies at a time when the boys are home - I think maybe what I need is a pizzeria oven, lol