We didn’t have anything in the house tonight for dinner. Nothing whatsoever, or so it seemed. I even said (whined?), “Why does someone who likes cooking so much have no food in the house?” We talked about getting fish at the local shop, but the idea of anything deep fried made me feel sad. I thought about going to the market for one of their salads that I really like, but since I’ve moved it’s a long drive for just a salad. Then my brain finally started working, and I realized I could make pizza.
I happened to make bread on the weekend, and had fresh dough in the refrigerator. (Otherwise, a few pitas would have done the trick.) Okay, the crust was taken care of!
I had a jar of passata (strained tomatoes) in the pantry. Not exactly the garden fresh pizza sauce I make sometimes, but hey, it’s a Wednesday night, I had a busy day at work and I have to clean house for company coming on the weekend. Why be fussy? Besides, this is a good quality sauce. I poured some into a bowl, and added minced fresh garlic, freshly ground pepper and dried oregano and basil. Sauce: done!
Next, I went into active scrounge mode. There really wasn’t much in the refrigerator, but I found a red bell pepper and some leftover feta cheese. I grabbed an onion from the cupboard. Chop, chop, chop, and lid off the feta container – toppings ready to go!
While the oven was heating to 450º I rolled out a ball of dough to a size that fit my pizza stone. The dough was nice and thin, maybe about 1/8 inch. I sprinkled the stone with flour (optional) and cornmeal before putting the dough on it. I rubbed a couple of tablespoons of olive oil over it, then spread the sauce over. Next the sliced pepper and onions were added, and finally the feta cheese sprinkled over the top. A drizzle of olive oil and another sprinkling of black pepper, and hey, it was ready to go into the oven for 20 minutes.
Sounds like pizza to me! Not bad, considering that I started from that ‘nothing in the house’ mindset. And, in the best tradition of cooking as therapy, making the pizza perked me up. Eating it made me even happier. My Culinary Enthusiast appeared absolutely delirious about it.
This may be one of my most successful homemade pizzas yet. The CE pronounced the crust the best he’s ever had. It was thin and crispy. There was just the right amount of toppings, and nothing heavy or greasy. Just good fresh and light ingredients, brought together to show each other off to best advantage.
What a great start to the evening! Now if I could just get as enthused about the laundry and dusting …