Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Ultimate Pizza... our humble opinions.  I tried to recreate the fantastic pizza we had in Park City, pictured here.  It didn't look as pretty, but tasted pretty close to the restaurant version.  Anyone in Utah should still go to Park City and check out the real thing at (well, get the address there and then go there to get the wonderful amazing absolutely perfect pizza you'll ever eat).  Until then, here is my version. 

"Wasatch White" Pizza

This one is my personal favorite, though I love both.  My husband likes the pesto better, but also loves both.  Instead of sauce, it uses ricotta cheese on the bottom, then its topped with loads of finely chopped garlic and mozzarella cheese.

1/3 recipe pizza dough, see below
1/2 c whole milk ricotta cheese
1 head garlic, peeled, smashed and minced very finely
1 c mozzarella cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Stretch and roll dough out til about a 12" round.   Pour just a bit of olive oil on the pan or stone you use so it doesn't stick.  Place dough on pan, and then brush with a bit of melted butter.  Spread ricotta cheese with back of spoon on to dough.  Sprinkle with lots of garlic, and then top with mozzarella cheese.  Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees for another 15 minutes.

Basic Pizza Dough (found here)

1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 1/2 c warm water
3 1/2 c flour
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
pinch of salt

Combine yeast and water, and stir very gently with a fork.  Let stand for 5 minutes.  Place flour into a large mixing bowl, and when yeast/water mixture is ready, pour over flour and knead gently with hands til combined.  Add olive oil and salt.  Knead until soft dough forms, and add a little more flour if it is too sticky.   Wash out the bowl, and grease it lightly with olive oil before placing dough back in, and then cross cut the top of the dough and grease again with olive oil to keep soft.  Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours, til double in size.  Punch down, and then divide into 3 pieces to use for 3 12" pizzas.

"Prospector Pesto" Pizza

Pesto is used as the sauce in this one, then topped with garlic, mozzarella and roma tomatoes.

1/3 recipe pizza dough (see above)
2 heaping tablespoons pesto, recipe here or use store-bought
1/2 head garlic, peeled and minced finely
1 c mozzarella cheese, shredded
2 roma tomatoes, diced

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Roll out dough to 12" and place on greased pizza stone or pan.  Brush with melted butter, and then top with pesto and spread sauce with back of spoon.  Top with garlic, and then the mozzarella and tomatoes.  Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce to 350 degrees and bake another 15 minutes.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

More Pasta...

So tonight I was the only one home when it time to start cooking, because my sweet mother in law stepped in to help my husband clean the apartment while I visited my sister, brother in law, and brand new perfect nephew.  I was in the mood to cook again, but didn't have much inspiration for the evening.  So I made pasta again, its a go to.  Close to stuff I have done before, yet different enough to have a distinctly different flavor.  So I hope you enjoy.

Baked Rotini with Pesto Alfredo and Chicken or Beef

1 lb rotini, again, I used whole wheat
4 chicken tenders cut into bite sized pieces, or about 1/4 lb sliced flank steak (I used stir fry pre-sliced steak)
2 roma tomatoes, diced
4 tbsp butter
4 tbsp flour
3 c milk
1/4 c Parmesan cheese
3 to 4 tbsp pesto sauce
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
Italian seasoned breadcrumbs

Bring large pot of water to a boil, generously salted.  Cook pasta to pkg directions in water, then drain.  Set aside.  Melt butter in a small saucepan, and then add onion and garlic; saute til onion is tender.  Add flour, and stir til onion and garlic are coated and butter absorbed.  Add milk and stir til smooth.  Stir in pesto, Parmesan, and then add tomatoes.  Simmer over low heat.

Cook chicken or beef in a bit of olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.  Toss sauce and meat with pasta and pour into baking dish.  Top with more Parmesan cheese and breadcrumb and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

**NOTE** I made both chicken and beef because my father in law doesn't like chicken.  I just split the pasta in half and tossed it separately with the chicken and the beef, and poured into small 8x8 square pans, rather than the full sized 9x13.