Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Pizza Time!

Long time no blog! Brooke recently attributed the fact she hadn't been to the gym in a month on my lack of blogging. :) Hmm.... anyway I figured I better get back to the blog before everybody goes off the deep end! 
But in truth- what actually motivated me to blog today was to share a recipe I made last night for a homemade-ish pizza! Notice I'm not claiming this is fully homemade, or healthy- although I'm sure there are some great reduced calorie recipes out there, this was my first gourmet pizza making attempt and my priority was making it taste good!

Not my actual creation- but you get the idea
Quick note- I bought all supplies except the spices at Trader Joe's (shocking I know) Their pre-made pizza dough and sauce were outstanding and would work well with any toppings! 
Asparagus, Pancetta & Sun Dried Tomato Pizza-Let Pizza Dough sit out on a floured surface for 20 min.
While this is happening- do the following:
-Preheat oven to 450.
-Chop 4-5 stalks asparagus into bite size pieces.  (picture it being on top of your pizza- you don't really want big chunks) and then toss it into a pan with a little water and cover until it begins to soften. (at least 5 min) 
-Add 1/2 cup pre-diced pancetta to the pan.  This is SO good and adds so much flavor! Let it cook until slightly crispy, then remove the pan from heat.  
-Chop up 1/4 cup of sun dried tomatoes and set aside. 
-Roll out the pizza dough.  This is where things got tricky. I bought mine pre-made at TJs, BUT was unhappy with the way it stretched out, uneven and misshapen- so I rolled it all in a ball and tried again. BAD idea.  Just go wtih the first "stretch out" even if it's not perfectly shaped.  Chris found me in the kitchen covered in flour attempting to roll pizza dough with a wine bottle. Since at this point the lumpy creation seemed destined for the garbage, he tried his pizza tossing skills... and amazingly we pulled out some sort of stretched crust creation. Maybe not symmetrical- but it sure tasted great!
-Stretch out the pizza dough on a lightly oiled pan and then top with sauce.  I used a TJ's  pizza sauce that they sell in their premade fresh section, conveniently right next to the pizza dough.  I used the entire container and if you like your pizza saucy (sauce is healthier than cheese- just fyi) I'd even buy two containers.
-I topped the sauce with a blend of regular and light shredded mozzarella cheese. About a cup of each. I sometimes have trouble with getting the "light" version to melt properly, but the combo worked well.
-I then topped the pizza with the prepped asparagus, pancetta & sun dried tomatoes. 
-And then my FAVORITE part- which I will add to any pizza from now on- a spice blend! Mix the following:
2 tbs grated or shredded Asiago cheese
2 tbs sesame seed (I only had black sesame seed, which looked a little odd, but you couldn't taste a difference)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
After sprinkling the spice mix over the pizza I nervously put it in the oven and it cooked for about 12 minutes.  
The pizza came out piping hot, melty, spicy, saucy and DELICIOUS.  I ate two giant pieces and had to restrain myself from more.  Chris had a 3rd piece. It was THAT good.  I'm actually thinking I'll make it again for my upcoming Book Club meeting- so get excited if you're coming!
More health focused blogs to come- I promise.  But in the meantime... go make some pizza!
Ps.  Brooke- go to the gym. (If you want. No pressure. Just now you can't blame me anymore! )

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