copyright 2016 Maria Liberati/Art of Living, PrimaMedia Inc.
When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie that’s amore…
An overused song, I know, but when you are walking through the streets of Rome and you hear an accordion playing the tune, it seems so apropos and so romantic..it just seems to go with the scenery… and for Valentine’s Day- an acceptable excuse to quote the song..The easiest main course to do for a Valentine’s Day dinner is Pizza. Amateur cooks and expert cooks alike can master a pizza. As my grandmother once told me when I asked her for her recipe “it’s just a little flour, some yeast and water”..she knew how to master the dough by the touch,the weight, the feel. But for those who are just learning, never fear, and topping ideas are endless..choose whatever suits you..but for Valentine’s Day you may want to avoid garlic and onions.
Bake in a heart shaped pan. If you are using a silicone pan, cover the pan first with aluminum foil and oil that foil. Leave enough foil on the sides so that you can cover the pizza while baking. If you use regular pizza pan, you can eliminate the aluminum foil. This recipe can be considered more of a focaccia type pizza or in the US we call it a deep dish pizza. I have included these interesting pastes,that are available in the US, or you can make your own and find recipes for them in one of my books.. just as they are in Italy. If you have never cooked with tomato paste in a tube, try it ,it is so…. Italian! And once you have used the tube, you won’t want to go back to the canned stuff.
from The Basic Art of Pizza: copyright 2011 art of living, PrimaMedia,Inc/Maria Liberati)
4-5 cups unbleached flour
2 packages dry active yease
2 cups warm water (should be about 100 degrees fahrenheit no higher than 115 degrees)
1 tsp sugar
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1 tblsp olive oil
2 teaspoons of Garlic Paste
1/3 tsp oregano
2 medium tomatoes
6 ozs. thinly sliced provolone cheese
Optional-3 ounces of cooked and drained Italian sausage crumbled or use a vegetarian substitute
5 tablespoons Tomato Paste
2 teaspoons Pesto
12 ounces shredded mozzarella
Place yeast cube in tall glass, place in 1/2 cup water and tsp sugar, stir. Yeast mixture will become bubbly. In bowl place in sifted flour and yeast mixture and blend by hand add in more water as needed until dough is not sticky. Place flour on wooden board. Place dough here and continue mixing in until dough is soft yet not sticky, and a little firm., add in more flour as needed. Then cover and leave in warm place to rise.
When doubled in size (this takes about 3 hours), place into a pan and shape to fit. Oil your hands with olive oil, this will make it easier to lay the dough into pan shape. Press dough against sides and just over rim of pan,
Filet the tomatoes by cutting out the liquid part and slicing meat of tomatoes. In small bowl, add in tomato paste, garlic paste, oregano,olive oil. Place half the provolone on dough and spread tomato paste mixture on top. Layer sausage with provolone, dot with pesto . Place tomato slices on top and then top with mozzarella. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 35 minutes in a preheated oven at 425 degrees. Open foil to expose top of pizza and bake this way 5 more minutes or until top is golden brown. Wait 10 minutes before cutting.
Serve with a dry red wine.
For more pizza recipes get your copy of The Basic Art of Pizza, also available as a downloadable ebook
For more great recipes get your copy of the Award Winning book