The Philsophy of Pizza


When I think of pizza it takes me back to weekends when Denise, David, and I would spend Saturdays food shopping at supermarkets and farmers market as if we were on a mini  vacation. With the car loaded down as we drove from one destination to another. Only to end up at a pizza shop to pick up dinner. David and Denise would always have a video game competition going on and my Saturdays were usually  wrapped up in the latest Agatha Christie mystery as we ate.

 After church we always had an array of bite size treats for Sunday football games and of course another great tasting pizza. As Denise got older we started making our very own rustic combination pizzas with everything from seafood to cheesesteaks. And it’s one meal I always thought taste just as good cold (after a potty run in the middle of the night) as it does hot out of the oven.

I have always loved pizza, in fact while carrying Denise I had cravings for pizza the majority of my pregnancy. I actually had to have a slice of pizza every day the last few months. Then a few years ago I went through chemo and could not stand the taste of it, who would have thought that would happen to me! Anyway in the last year I’ve been working hard on getting that special  relationship back, especially since pizza has given me so many warmhearted memories. So I decided to make this pizza as healthy as possible, but still great tasting for the memories.

Real close to healthy… great tasting pizza.

Prep time:  30 minutes            Cook time:   5 minutes             Yield: 6-8 servings             Difficulty: easy

Ingredients:

2 cups of Bob’s Red Mill whole wheat pastry flour ( or flour of your choice) 

1 cup of thinly sliced cooked ham

3/4 cup of water

1/2  cup of chopped mozzarella cheese

1/2 cup of grated Asiago cheese

1/2  cup of grated provolone cheese

1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese

3 tablespoons of tomato sauce

 1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 stick of unsalted butter

1 teaspoon of Kosher salt

2 cloves of thinly sliced garlic

Roughly chop one small onion

Roughly chopped mushrooms (of your choice)

2 sliced banana peppers

1 sliced red pepper

Pasta seasoning to taste

Sprinkle with corn meal

Sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley

Prep for dough: 

Combine flour, salt and water and work dough on lightly floured surface. Formed dough should look shaggy not smooth then allow dough to rest for 5 minutes. Knead dough for  about 7 minutes, any loose flour should be mixed in dough at this time. Dough should be smooth, elastic and  slightly tacky, if too sticky lightly add flour (per tablespoon as needed) then roll in a ball.

Spread half a tablespoon of olive oil in bowl then roll ball of dough in oil, cover bowl for 60 minutes and allow dough to rise and rest. Form disk shape by using a lightly floured rolling pin ( always roll away from center of dough). You can also use 2 sheets of parchment paper when rolling dough this prevents sticking. Lightly sprinkle pizza stone or cooking pan with corn meal.

Instructions:

Cook ham  garlic,onions, peppers and mushrooms in brown butter sauce over low heat  for flavor and to soften vegetables (ham is precooked). Add remaining ingredients starting with tomato sauce to cover dough, then add ham, vegetables, spices  and cheeses. Sprinkle parmesan cheese and parsley over entire pizza. Preheat oven temperature at 500 ° F  and cook for 5 minutes (frequently check pizza).

 

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