Easy Pizza Sauce

By: Julie

Time:  10 min

Serves:  Enough sauce for 3 medium pizzas

I have a love affair with pizza but I’m getting picky in my old age.  If I have the time, I like to make it myself from scratch.  You can buy canned pizza sauce in the store and it will mimic anything you receive in a 2 for 1 pizza shack, or you can easily make something else that will taste fresh and delicious every time.  There are several ways to make pizza sauce but this one is easy, takes minutes, and is delicious.  The San Marzano tomatoes are important here, but if you can’t find them use plum tomatoes instead.

You Will Need:

  • 1 can of San Marzano tomatoes
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt (or regular table salt)
  • 1/4 tsp of oregano or basil
  • 1/4 tsp of chile flakes (optional)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves of minced garlic

Drain the tomatoes using a strainer.  I like to let them sit while the oven is preheating to make sure they are drained well – you don’t want watery sauce.  Once drained, toss all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until smooth.

Divide into thirds and freeze the 2 potions.  Spread the last portion on your pizza.  This is a generous portion, I like lots of sauce.  If you don’t, just use less and make 4 portions.

Top your pizza with your favorite ingredients, enjoy!

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Grilled Chicken Pizza with Corn and Garlic Gouda

By Corinne

Homemade pizza is endlessly versatile and easy to put together once you have a favourite dough recipe down. I’ve been in love with our local corn lately, featured here in a pasta, and here in a pizza that echoes of a corn chowder but in flatbread form. This pizza came about from what I was able to scrounge in the fridge and pantry in order to whip together a supper after an evening golfing.

Makes: 1 pizza – about 15″ diameter

You will need:

For toppings:

  • 1 chicken breast
  • 1 cup fresh corn, removed from cob- about 1 cup of kernels
  • about 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion (about half of a small red onion)
  • about 1/2 cup of your favourite BBQ sauce
  • 1 cup shredded garlic gouda cheese – preferably Thunder Oaks if you can get it

Tl’s-works-every-time pizza dough* this is a half recipe to make one pizza rather than 2 you could also make the full recipe as seen here, and then put half in the fridge to use in the next day or two.

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 1/4 tsp yeast (quick rise or traditional, either works, traditional will just take longer to rise)
  • 2/3 cup very warm water

Mix dry ingredients, including yeast, for dough. Add very warm water and knead a few minutes until all ingredients have come together in a smooth dough. If dough seems too sticky, add a bit more flour. Rub dough with a tbsp or so of oil, cover, and let rise in a warm place until you are ready to roll out for ingredients. Prepare your other ingredients. Your dough will probably double in this time but if it doesn’t QUITE double, it will all be ok.

Preheat BBQ to medium high heat. Season chicken breast with salt and pepper. Grill with lid down as much as possible, flipping after about 5-7 minutes, and then again after another 5-7 minutes. Grilling time will depend a bit on your BBQ and the thickness of your chicken breast.

Prepare toppings. Slice red onion and set aside. Husk corn, and remove kernels. You should get about 1 cup of kernels from a cob. Shred cheese. Slice chicken thinly, then cut into about 1/2″ pieces.

Preheat oven to 400F.

When oven is preheated, and dough has risen roll out dough and transfer onto pizza stone. If dough is quite sticky (which sometimes happens because measuring flour can yield varying amounts!) then rather than add more flour, if you stretch and spread the dough with your fingers over the stone, a slightly sticky dough will bake up very crisp and delicious! There are some recipes such as this one that actually do this on purpose 🙂

Spread BBQ sauce evenly over dough. If desired, use more or less sauce depending on how saucy you like your pizza. I went on the scant side with the sauce as I wanted to make sure the other toppings really got to shine. Sprinkle on cheese, chicken, then corn and red onion.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until cheese is bubbly and crust is golden.

 

Summer Corn and Smoked Gouda Pizza

By Corinne

One of the things I love about summer is fresh, seasonal produce. There is little that says ‘summer’ meal to me more than something on the BBQ and a steamed cob of fresh corn. This year our local sweet corn seems better than ever somehow! When I prepped this recipe, I thought I might need the kernels from two cobs, but two cups was going to be way too much for one pizza. What to do with the extra corn… um…apparently eat it raw because it was delicious! My inspiration for this was essentially I wanted corn chowder in flat bread form. I think it was a success. While these are pretty non-traditional toppings, my husband said this was the best pizza he has ever had… and we may have eaten the entire thing in one sitting. Shout out to Belluz Farms for the amazing corn, Tim’s Meats for the utterly unique bacon jerky and Thunder Oak Cheese Farm for the delectable smoked gouda.

Makes: 1 pizza 15″ diameter

Preheat oven 400F

Time: 20 min prep, 1 hour rise, 20 minutes bake.

You will need:

  • 1 cob of corn, kernels removed, about 1 cup
  •  1 clove garlic
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup shredded smoked gouda cheese – Thunder Oak if you can get it + 1/4 cup more if desired
  • 1/2 cup bacon bits – use Tim’s Bacon Jerky if you live in Thunder Bay and can get it- shortens your prep time and is amazing
  • snipped fresh parsley if desired

Tl’s-works-every-time pizza dough* this is a half recipe to make one pizza rather than 2

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 1/4 tsp yeast (quick rise or traditional, either works, traditional will just take longer to rise)
  • 2/3 cup very warm water

Mix dry ingredients, including yeast, for dough. Add very warm water and knead a few minutes until all ingredients have come together in a smooth dough. If dough seems too sticky, add a bit more flour. Rub dough with a tbsp or so of oil, cover, and let rise in a warm place until you are ready to roll out for ingredients. Your dough will probably double in this time.

Cook bacon for bacon bits if you are not using delicious bacon jerky from Tim’s Meats. If you are using the amazing bacon jerky,  you can just snip into bits using kitchen shears. I find this is the quickest way to get it into little pieces.  Remove kernels from cob and set aside. Shred cheese and set aside.

In a shallow pan, melt 1 tbsp butter. Add 1 clove minced garlic and 1/4 tsp salt. Whisk in 1 tbsp flour. Add the 1 cup of heavy cream a bit at a time, whisking until liquid is absorbed. When all liquid is added, let bubble a minute or two more, whisking frequently. If desired… you can add an additional 1/4 cup of shredded cheese to the sauce and whisk in. Do this after you have removed the sauce from heat to avoid separation.

When oven is preheated, and dough has risen roll out dough and transfer onto pizza stone. If dough is quite sticky (which sometimes happens because measuring flour can yield varying amounts!) then rather than add more flour, if you stretch and spread the dough with your fingers over the stone, a slightly sticky dough will bake up very crisp and delicious! There are some recipes such as this one that actually do this on purpose 🙂

Spread the white sauce over the dough. Sprinkle on cheese, corn and bacon bits. Note that this may seem like a scant amount of cheese for a pizza, but with the creamy sauce you really don’t need a lot. Bake in oven for 20-25 minutes until cheese is bubbly and crust is golden. Garnish with snipped fresh parsley. You may notice that my pictures do not have snipped fresh parsley. That’s because we ate it and I forgot. But it would be wonderful 🙂

Pizza Pasta Pandamonium

By: Julie

Time: 30 min

Serves: 8

It’s a normal dreary, rainy day.  Everything is coming up Milhouse until suddenly it happens.  You have an intense craving for pasta, but also for spicy pepperoni, and blistered mozzerella.  Will you make pizza or pasta?  Well, now you don’t have to decide.  You can make this:

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A delicious blend of pizza and pasta.  Very good bedfellows.   I have seen things like this before made in crock pots.  I’m not really sure why, unless you are taking it to pot luck, in which case a crock pot is very convenient.  Several recipes I saw wanted me to cook the ingredients and then combine them in the crock pot for further cooking for hours and hours.  Crock pots are supposed to be time saving inventions, but seriously you can make this 30 min so why bother dirtying more than one pot?  CAN YOU TELL I DON’T HAVE A DISHWASHER? One pot meals are my jam.

You Will Need:

  • 1 lb of lean hamburger.  If you use a medium grind make sure to take ff the fat
  • 2 italian sausage links (optional) removed from casing
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 red pepper chopped
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  •  1 can of tomato sauce – your own or GASP! store bought is fine (540ml)
  • 1 jar of pizza sauce – or make your own (398ml)
  • 2 cups of pepperoni, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup of hot salami diced (optional.  If ommitting add 1/4 tsp hot pepper flakes)
  • 1-2tbsp of red wine vinegar
  • 3 cups of cooked whole wheat rotini
  • 2 cups of mozzarela cheese, shredded
  • fresh basil for garnish

Add onion, garlic, pepper, ground beef and sausage to pot.  Cook over medium heat, stirring to break up meat.  (Don’t forget to cook your pasta so you can add it later).

Once meat is browned and onions are tender add the garlic and tomato paste, stirring to coat.  Continue to stir until paste is cooked and fragrant.

Add the pepperoni and the salami

Add tomato sauce and pizza sauce.  Stir to combine.

Taste, then add 1 tbsp of red wine vinegar and taste again.  The vinegar brings out the sweetness of the tomato without adding sugar.  Add the other tablespoon if needed depending on the sauce you used.

Stir in the pasta.

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scrape down the sides of the pot and sprinkle the cheese on top.  You may want to use less but I like a nice thick blister of cheese on top.

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Set the oven to broil and WATCH CAREULLY.  Do not leave the oven door or you will cry.  By the time the smoke detector goes off it will be too late.  Nothing seems to happen for the first 2 minutes but the cheese goes from melted to blistered in about 30 seconds so stare at it until its ready.

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Allow to cool for five minutes and spoon onto plate.  Garnish with fresh basil.

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I served this with a raw spinach salad with oil white wine vinegar topped with some feta cheese and it was divine.  An easy weeknight meal.