Friday, September 19, 2008

In-Home Entertainment

With all the bacon and dumplings and oddly-flavored naan lately, I know it looks like I never actually eat at home.
Which I do.

Proof: This pizza, which I made last week. In my house. I have this troublesome compulsion to grocery shop, buy a ton of perishable goods, and then eat out every night until everything I bought goes bad. I know I have a problem, and this pizza is part of the solution. Pizza is a great way to use up whatever's hanging around the fridge, on the brink of moldy death. In my case, critical patients included prosciutto, mushrooms, spinach, cherry tomatoes, and a tub of ricotta cheese.

I know that making pizza dough is really easy and cheap and blah blah, so shoot me, I bought prepackaged dough from Trader Joe's because it costs all of $2 and saved me at least an hour of prep time. Some might argue that this whole defense of me cooking at home isn't even cooking, because I'm actually really just assembling all my groceries on top of store-bought dough, to which I respond "meh" and point out that I had to turn on the both the stove and the oven for this venture, which constitutes cooking.

Anyhow. Here's the recipe:

1 bag pizza dough
4 tbsp olive oil, divided
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 lb fresh spinach, washed
1 cup cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, sliced in half
(optional) 5-6 thin slices prosciutto or other cured meat
fresh mozzarella cheese
fresh ricotta cheese
1/2 tbsp crushed red pepper flakes
salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pizza dough to fit whatever you're cooking it on (I used a cookie sheet, so my pizza was rectangular). Brush with 2 tbsp olive oil.

Heat the remaining oil in a saute pan over medium heat until it shimmers. Add the onions and garlic. Cook until onions get soft, 5-7 minutes. Add the spinach and saute for an additional 2-3 minutes.

That's all the cooking we'll be doing today.

Arrange your pizza: I layered the prosciutto on the bottom, then mozzarella, the spinach/onion mix, mushrooms, and sprinkled the tomatoes and olives on top . And then spooned globs of ricotta over that. Salt, pepper and red pepper flakes were last.

Bake for appx. 25 minutes, or until crust is brown.

This recipe screams for adaptations, substitutions, additions or subtractions. I was trying to use up what was in my fridge, and pizza is pretty much a blank slate. It's stupid easy to make, but for some reason people are always really impressed with homemade pizzas. So remember, kids, every once in a while it's ok to have a night in.


Kate said...

Looks awesome, Jamie. Glad you could use up some of your compulsive food buys. And I'm a total supporter of store bought pizza dough, pizza shops will also sell you a ball of dough if you can't get to the grocery store.

Gogi said...

Hi Jamie, I buy the pizza dough too. Mine is usually frozen and sometimes on sale so I always have a ball of it in my freezer. I pull a ball of it out of the freezer to thaw in the fridge when it looks like I'm about to loose the produce. Then I usually don't make it until I think I'm gonna loose my dough! My pizzas usually look a lot like yours. I love your web site! I check it out fairly regularly.
Gogi Millner (remember me? We shared a good Italian meal about 2 years ago with Noah)

Noah Adler said...

omgz embarrassed. but - you have a fan base! I smell a franchise opportunity...

Jamie said...

@ Kate: We should plan a dinner party with your cousin and friends. Thoughts?

@Gogi: Hi! Of course I remember you! Thanks for reading, you are too funny. I've never thought about freezing dough, but I don't see why not. The next time you're in town, we should all go out again.

@Noah: lol. xoxo.