Tag Archives: pizza

Recipe – Pizza Margherita

As promised, here is the recipe for my pizza.

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The Crust

The dough is probably the most important part of the pizza (followed closely by the cheese. I like to use my family’s focaccia recipe. I am not entirely sure where it came from originally, either from a relative somewhere, or a recipe that we looked up and modified. I get it out of our family cookbook (good idea, by the way. Every family that cooks should make a family cookbook). Either way, here it is.

Ingredients:

Flour – 2 1/3 cups (Bread flower or some other high gluten is best. The more gluten, the more stretch.)

Water – 1 1/4 cup, tap hot

Salt – 1tsp

Yeast – 1tbsp

Prep

Put the ingredients in a bread machine on manual and click go. Okay, I know that sounds like cheating, but it works great. If you want to make it by hand, do so, although I won’t be able to tell you how to do it.

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The “sauce”

This isn’t really a sauce, just some tomatoes with a little added zing

The Ingredients

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3 or so nice tomatoes

Garlic

Hot pepper

Olive oil

The Prep

Fry your garlic and pepper, add tomatoes.

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Let that cook for a little while, and then turn off the heat.

The Pie

The great thing about pizza is that to be great, it is really simple to make an amazing pizza.

Ingredients

The Crust

The “Sauce”

Some fresh mozzarella

Fresh Basil leaves

Pecorino, parmesan, or some other hard cheese for grating.

Olive oil (of course)

The Prep

Preheat your oven as hot as it will go. For me that is 550. Make sure you have a rack at the lowest possible setting.

Generously douse your pizza pan in oil, and put your dough ball on it. Slowly work it until it is roughly the shape and size of a pizza. If you have a smaller pan, you might want to divide your pizza up into more than one.

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Add your tomatoes.

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Add your mozzarella. Don’t worry about making it too even, mozzarella melts amazingly and gets everywhere.

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And the basil of course.Image Legend has it that the traditional ingredients of tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil were chosen by a chef in Naples to commemorate Princess Margherita’s visit by emulating the new flag of Italy.

That said, I think they are better with a bit of parmesan or pecorino on the top.

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Put your pizza in the oven, at the bottom and cook.

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*Make sure you close the oven though, it won’t work very well otherwise.

Mine takes 15 minutes or so, but I have heard of pizzas getting cooked much faster. Just wait for it to be crispy and delicious.

Serve.

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And, since this is still the Random Rovings, here is the Gratuitous Close-up.

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Ha! I fooled you. You thought this was just going to be another picture of the finished pizza.

Pizza — What? A New Post!?

The past semester was a doozy, and frankly, I didn’t do much cooking worth noting. So, I am back, on an as of yet undetermined schedule for the summer.

The other day we had our homemade pizza, and it was fantastic.
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The pizza is made with a really good focaccia style crust, and a spicy sauce which my mother makes. Lately, we have been using fresh mozzarella and because the basil plants are doing pretty well, fresh basil.

So, my family’s pizza margarita.
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Naturally with a nice salad.
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And, of course, the gratuitous close-up.
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Napoli — Pizza

I never got to post about Naples, so I will be scattering them here and there.

Naples is known for pizza, largely because it is the birthplace of what we would consider pizza.

So, naturally, my first meal in the city (after a coffee upon arrival) was pizza.

I got pizza margherita. The original. It is just bread, tomato sauce, fior di latte cheese, which is a type of fresh mozzarella, and fresh basil.
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It was absolutely superb. The crust was fantastic, the sauce was great, but the cheese was out of this world it was the most delicious thing I have ever tasted.

My friends got slightly more complicated versions, which also looked amazing.
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and we washed it down with local beverages
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The great thing was that this meal cost well under 10 euro a person.

and here is your gratuitous close-up.
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Laurienzo’s

Laurienzo’s Brick Oven Cafe in Mount Airy, MD

I had lunch here yesterday, and I would definitely recommend it. It is not a cheap restaurant, but it is also not expensive ($13+/- for pasta and $12 for 12 inch pizza).

The inside was a little dark for my taste, but they also have tables outside, which would probably be better, but on to the food.

We started off with a garden salad, which is enough for a full meal. They were more than happy to provide extra plates for sharing.

Here was my portion of the salad.
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My mother and grandmother split a pizza, which I also got a bit of.
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The crust was delicious, as was the sauce. I have gotten used to fresh mozzarella on pizza, so this cheese was a little disappointing to me, but it was also good. Over all, it was a very good homestyle pizza.

My meal was a lunch portion (cheaper at $8) cavatappi, which is pasta with chicken, onion, mushroom, tomato and garlic oil.
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Even having just gotten back from Italy, this was delicious, especially the garlic oil sauce.

To me, Laurienzo’s exemplifies the best side of Italian cooking: simple, honest dishes, made with fresh, good ingredients. I highly recommend stopping by for a meal.

Last Day in Rome, Part II

I had a very nice dinner with friends for my last evening in Rome (I will be back for one night, but this was the last evening). We went, at the recommendation of one of the friends, to San Lorenzo, to this restaurant.
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To start with, we each got a suplì, which is a fried rice/cheese thing that is surprisingly delicious.
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Also, some water and wine,
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On account of student budgets, we each got a pizza instead of a proper meal. The pizzas turned out delicious.
Here is mine, with mushrooms:
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And the others:
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The atmosphere of the restaurant was rather nice, in a laid back way, and it was very popular.
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There was a huge inner room filled two, and this was only half of the tables outside.

10euro each. I highly recommend this place, or at least look in San Lorenzo for a good place to eat.

For desert, after leaving the restaurant, I had a gelato. The others each had a Peroni (Italy’s beer- Per Noi, Peroni.)
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So that is it from Rome, aside from breakfast tomorrow morning and the morning I take the plane. However, I am going down to Puglia again, so there should be some great stuff coming. Hang in there, I probably won’t have internet until I get back to the USA, so the next post will probably come on Wednesday.

Napoli–not quite

So, I just got back from Naples and the food was fantastic (can you say birthplace of pizza?), unfortunately, I didn’t bring my camera.

[listens for cries of dismay, **crickets**, gives up on that and goes on as planned]

But don’t worry, I used a friends camera to take pictures, and she is going to give them to me.

[listens for cheers and sighs of relief **more crickets** you fail as an audience]

Unfortunately, that might not happen until she goes back to Poland.

Anyway, until then, I have a couple meals from the missing week between Venezia and Napoli to keep you hungry.

First, a plate from my favorite pasta shop at Piazza di Spagna.
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I don’t really know what these noodles were, but they were amazing. They were not rolled out, and so were very thick, almost like gnocchi. The sauce was very simple and there were mushrooms and eggplant inside.

Next, to prove that I do actually eat at other places, and that man does not live on pasta alone…
Panino.
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And moving on from lunches, this was a meal I made for myself. Pasta with pancetta, onions, and garlic with a white wine sauce.
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It was actually pretty good.

Finally, one more plate of pasta, this time with tuna.
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This place really is great. It even makes tuna-mac good.

Sunday

After going to early mass, I went out in search of a bar for breakfast, because my usual one is closed on Sundays. Luckily, I did not have to search far and on Via Appia Nuova I found this place:
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I got a coffee and a cornetto with nutella in it:
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It was pretty good. I like my regular place better, but this is definitely an alternative for Sunday.

I went to the Vatican Museum in the morning (it is free on the last Sunday of the month), so I was over on the other side of the river for lunch. It was very hot and I was hungry, so I wanted to sit down and have a relaxing meal.

I ended up finding this place:
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It was very good. I got the house pizza, which had tomato, garlic, hot pepper, and rucola.
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and a little bit of wine, because this is Italy, and that is what you do here.
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I also could not pass up some gelato. Dolce Latte and Coco.
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For dinner I will probably just have bread and cheese, or maybe some pasta and cheese. Nothing complicated.