As much as we really, really, really wanted to move out of our old neighborhood – gun shots at 2am? Um, no thanks – there were three things that I was really not looking forward to leaving behind:
- Foodie Baby’s nursery. Foodie Groom and I painted the nursery ourselves. Bunnies, dragon flies, and all. First baby. First nursery. But not the first time I cursed that stupid blue painter’s tape.
- A relatively quick drive for Connie’s Frozen Custard. A vanilla concrete with double pecans can turn that frown upside down faster than a blue margarita from El Patio. But only slightly faster
- Locatelli’s Pizza
I used to think that there was no such thing as bad pizza. It was easy to believe because I was living on bad pizza. During college, I was a connoisseur of cheap freezer pizzas. 10 pizzas for $10. Of course, the freezer in my apartment only held 8. And half of that space technically belonged to my roommate… I have a habit of getting bogged down in details, especially those details that don’t matter.
We eat a lot of homemade pizza. And we eat a lot of take-out pizza. While our new house is 34.1 miles from Locatelli’s, the good news is that we have completely unpacked the kitchen and I can cook again. The first thing we did when the last box was unpacked? We ordered pizza. (We’re only human!) The next night? We made pizza. There’s nothing like that new kitchen smell, when it’s pizza in the oven
Red White and Green Pizza
A meatless pizza topped with fresh tomatoes, red bell pepper, goat cheese, and basil.
- For the dough:
- 2 1/4 tsp yeast (1 pkg)
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 3/4 cup warm water, divided
- 1 Tbsp vital wheat gluten
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp olive oil, plus more for oiling bowl
- 1/2 grated Parmesan cheese
- Cracked black pepper
- Cornmeal, for dusting
- For the sauce:
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- pinch red pepper flakes
- cracked black pepper
- 1 15 oz can crushed tomatoes
- For the toppings:
- 1 large roma tomato, seeded and sliced
- 1/2 medium red bell pepper, chopped
- 3 oz goat cheese, crumbled
- 3/4 cup shredded fresh mozzarella
- small handful of fresh basil leaves
- Make the dough: Place sugar and 1/4 cup water in the bowl of your stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast over top. Let sit 10 minutes until frothy. Add the remaining water, flours, gluten, salt, olive oil, cheese, and several grinds of pepper. Mix on low with the dough hook. Knead on medium-high for 7 minutes. The dough should completely come off the sides of the bowl but will still be a little sticky. Remove the dough from the bowl, oil the bowl or spray with cooking spray, and place the dough back in, turning to coat. Cover and let rise until doubled. (In a slightly warmed oven, this takes about an hour.)
- Preheat oven to 450. Turn dough out onto a pan or peel dusted with cornmeal. Shape the dough into a 14-inch round and transfer to the oven. Bake for 7 minutes, docking any air pockets that form with a fork.
- Make the sauce: Heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic, red pepper, and a few grinds of black pepper and cook until the garlic just begins to brown. Add tomatoes and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Salt to taste.
- Assemble the pizza: Top the crust with sauce, shredded mozzarella, tomatoes, red bell pepper, and goat cheese. Transfer back to the oven to melt the cheese and brown the edges of the pizza. Top with basil leaves before serving.
Yields: 1 14-inch pizza
Estimated time: 1 hour 45 minutes