May 3, 2011

Have a Wonderful Meal of Homemade Pizza and Sangria!

What a lovely way to spend the day! This past Saturday, I held a pizza themed cooking class- we made our own dough, four different kinds of pizza and enjoyed a lovely rose champagne while we cooked and a delightful citrus sangria with our lunch! It was too much fun! Why not get together with friends on a lovely day and have a pizza party of your own? Pizza is great for your little ones, too!

Rosé Citrus Sangria

1 bottle of Sauvignon Blanc

1 bottle of red wine, such as Bonarda (an Italian grape variety now grown in South America)

Rind of 4 lemons

Rind of 2 limes

Juice of 1 lemon

Juice of ½ lime

1 cup sugar


Water or sparkling lemonade (1 liter)

Using a vegetable peeler, remove the peel of the lemons and limes, leaving the white pith. Place in the bottom of a pitcher. Add the lemon and lime juice and the sugar. Add the white and red wine. Stir, cover the pitcher, and refrigerate overnight. Before serving, add ice and either water or sparkling lemonade. If using lemonade, add immediately before serving.

Pizza Dough (makes 3 pizza crusts or 4 small crusts)

1 tsp. honey

¼ cup warm water

1 envelope yeast

1 tsp. sea salt

3 cups flour

3 Tbsp. warm water

3 Tbsp. olive oil

1 cup cool water

In a bowl, combine the ¼ cup warm water, honey and yeast. Allow to sit for at least 8 minutes. This will bubble. In a larger bowl, stir together flour and salt. Add the remaining water and olive oil to the yeast mixture. Form a well in the center of the flour and salt, pour in the liquid. With a utensil, stir until a wet dough forms. Oil your hands with olive oil, knead for a few minutes and add more flour as needed to form a smooth and elastic dough. Place in a bowl oiled with olive oil, also oil the top of the dough ball (that is exposed to the air). Either use immediately for pizza, or place in the refrigerator (covered) overnight and use the next day. When using after rising, knead to remove air pockets. Once toppings have been added, bake at 425 for roughly 20 minutes for a crispy crust. Less time for a less crispy result.

Basic Sauce for Pizza

2 Tbsp. olive oil

2 cloves garlic

½ tsp. sea salt

½ tsp. dried oregano

¼ tsp. chili flakes

26 oz. container Pomi tomatoes (chopped)

Heat the oil on the stove over medium low heat. Add the garlic, cook until fragrant, only a few minutes. Add the salt, oregano and chili flakes, cook for another few minutes. Add the tomatoes, simmer for roughly 15 minutes. If too liquid, press in a sieve to remove liquid before applying to the pizza dough.

Asparagus and Sun Dried Tomatoes

½ cup loosely packed sun dried tomatoes (julienned)

½ cup loosely packed asparagus, cut into ¾” pieces, tough lower stem discarded



Olive oil

In a small ball jar, combine the sun dried tomatoes and asparagus. Add 2 Tbsp. olive oil. Close the jar and shake to coat. To assemble the pizza, spread tomato sauce on a pizza crust, arrange the sun dried tomatoes and asparagus, it’s ok if there’s additional olive oil that comes out of the jar also. Using a fine grater, grate both parmesan and mozzarella over the pizza. Bake at 425 for 20 minutes. Grate additional parmesan over the pizza before serving.

Artichoke Hearts and Anaheim Chilies

Artichoke hearts in water

Anaheim chilies


Fresh Mozzarella

Olive oil


Cut the artichoke hearts into halves or fourths. Cut the chilies (stems and seeds discarded) into thin strips (roughly ¼” wide and 2-3” long). Cut the mozzarella into small pieces. On a prepared pizza crust, arrange the artichoke hearts and the chilies. Using a garlic press, press a garlic clove and distribute over the pizza. Use roughly 1 garlic clove per 3 pieces of pizza. Drizzle with olive oil. Distribute freshly cracked pepper over the pizza. Arrange the mozzarella pieces, but not too heavily. Bake at 425 for 20 minutes.

Margherita Pizza

Fresh mozzarella

Fresh basil

Olive oil

On a prepared pizza crust, spread a thin layer of tomato sauce. Arrange fresh mozzarella. Drizzle with olive oil. Bake at 425 for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with fresh basil before serving.

Quattro Stagioni


Artichoke hearts

Cooked ham

Pitted kalamata olives

Fresh mozzarella

The mushrooms, artichoke hearts and ham should be cut into pieces. On a prepared pizza crust, arrange the toppings in four quadrants. The olives in one, the mushrooms in another, the ham in another and the artichoke hearts in the last. Distribute the mozzarella. Bake at 425 for 20 minutes.

Dessert Pizza with Mascarpone Whipped Cream and Balsamic Strawberries

1 cup heavy cream

½ cup mascarpone cheese

2 cups sliced strawberries (about 8 ounces)

1 Tbsp. sugar

½ Tbsp. balsamic vinegar

Powdered sugar

In a small bowl, combine the strawberries, sugar and balsamic vinegar. Allow to sit until the sugar dissolves. Marinating overnight is good, too. In a standing mixer, whip the 1 cup of whipped cream until slightly firm, add the mascarpone cheese, whip until more firm, like regular whipped cream.
Bake a prepared pizza crust at 425 for 18 minutes. Remove from the oven, dust with powdered sugar. Allow to cool slightly. Spread the whipped mascarpone over the crust, top with strawberries, top again with powdered sugar.

And for entertainment we had a dashing young soccer player :)

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