Healthy Mediterranean Cooking at Home

Category Archives: Pizza

Last week I shared the ratatouille recipe that I made with the freshest end-of-the-summer vegetables. The recipe is versatile and I was able to create a number of dishes from the recipe. The first was an appetizer with brie, the second a delicious pizza and the third was a hearty pasta dish.

Here is the link to the ratatouille recipe.

Pizza

Ingredients

1 lb of your favorite pizza dough

16 oz mozzarella cheese, sliced

2 cups leftover ratatouille

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

Preheat the oven to 459 degrees F.

Oil a large pizza pan and place the dough on the pan. Using your fingers push the dough to the edges of the pan.

Distribute the cheese slices over the dough. Spread the ratatouille over the cheese. Sprinkle with Parmesan.

Place the pan in the oven and cook until lightly brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes before cutting into serving pieces.

Pasta

Ingredients

5 Spicy Italian sausage links, casing removed

2 cups leftover ratatouille

2 cups canned Iranian tomatoes chopped

1 lb short pasta

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

Place the sausage in a large deep skillet. Brown the meat breaking it into small pieces with a wooden spoon as it browns. add the ratatouille and tomatoes. Heat on low for 39 minutes.

Cook the pasta al dente according to the package instructions. Do not drain. Using a spider or slotted spoon, remove the cooked pasta from the skillet. Stir well and let the pasta cook in the sauce, Mix well and add the grated cheese. Serve in pasta bowls.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Pizza Margarita

Marinara Pizza Sauce

1 cup Italian crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 dried Italian seasoning
Salt and black pepper

Dough

1 teaspoon instant yeast
1 teaspoon honey
1 cup lukewarm water
3 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Topping

½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
12 oz sliced fresh mozzarella
A large handful of fresh basil leaves
Olive oil

Directions

For the dough

Combine all the ingredients for the dough in the large bowl of an electric mixer and with Cthe paddle attachment mix until the ingredients come together around the paddle. Attach the dough hook and knead the dough for 5-6 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, cover, and let rise until doubled.

For an overnight rise: Spray a large ziplock plastic bag with olive oil cooking spray. Place the dough in the bag and close the top. Place the bag in the refrigerator overnight. When ready to make the pizza, remove the bag from the refrigerator 30 minutes before making the pizza.

Turn the oven to 450 degrees F and let the oven heat for 30 minutes.

For the sauce

Combine the sauce ingredients in a mixing bowl

For the pizza

Prepare the crust: flour your hands lightly and pat the dough evenly into a lightly oiled 16″ pizza pan.

Brush the dough lightly with olive oil.
Spread the tomato sauce evenly over the dough leaving a ½-inch border. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese over the sauce,

Bake the pizza on the bottom rack of the oven for 15 minutes. Remove the pizza from the oven and cover the baked dough with fresh mozzarella slices and basil leaves.

Bake 8-10 minutes until the cheese has melted and the crust is lightly brown.

Let stand 5 minutes before slicing.


Ingredients

Dough

1 teaspoon instant yeast

1 teaspoon honey

1 cup lukewarm water

3 cups bread flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Topping

1 medium zucchini, finely diced

1 yellow bell pepper, finely diced

2 plum tomatoes, seeded and finely diced

One-quarter of a large red onion, finely diced

16 oz block whole milk mozzarella cheese, sliced thin

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

1 teaspoon dried oregano

Salt and pepper to taste

Crushed red pepper flakes for serving

Directions

Combine all the ingredients for the dough in the large bowl of an electric mixer and with the paddle attachment mix until the ingredients come together around the paddle. Attach the dough hook and knead the dough for 5-6 minutes.

Place in a greased bowl, cover, and let rise until doubled.

For an overnight rise:  Spray a large ziplock plastic bag with olive oil cooking spray. Place the dough in the bag and close the top. Place the bag in the refrigerator overnight. When ready to make the pizza, remove the bag from the refrigerator 30 minutes before making the pizza.

Turn the oven to 450 degrees F and let the oven heat for 30 minutes.

Prepare the crust: flour your hands lightly and pat the dough evenly into a lightly oiled 16″ pizza pan.

Top the crust in the following order: slices of mozzarella, vegetables, oregano, salt, pepper, and shredded mozzarella cheese.

Bake the pizza on the bottom rack of the oven for 15-20 minutes or until the crust is golden. Let stand 5 minutes before slicing.


Pizza Dough

A chewy pizza crust that can be made quickly with just basic pantry ingredients for when you are in a hurry. Makes 1 lb of pizza dough.

Ingredients

1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
2 1/2 cups bread flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt

Directions

In a medium bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.

Stir in flour, salt, and oil. Beat until smooth. Let rest for 5 minutes.

Place the dough in an oiled pizza pan and press and stretch the dough to the edges of the pan.

Cover with a kitchen towel and let rest for 30 minutes.

Place an oven rack on the bottom shelf of the oven and preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

After the dough has rested, add the toppings as indicated below.

Sausage and Peppers Topping

ingredients

8 oz spicy Italian Sausage, cut into thin slices

1 lb small bell peppers, sliced thin

1 large onion sliced thin

1 clove garlic, minced

1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning

8 oz mozzarella cheese, sliced thin

Olive oil

Pizza Sauce

Ingredients

26 oz container strained or chopped Italian tomatoes

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

½ teaspoon garlic powder

½ teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning

½ teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon honey

1 tablespoon olive oil

Directions

Combine all the ingredients for the pizza sauce in a saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook uncovered for 30 minutes.

Preheat a large sauté pan on medium-high and place 1 tablespoon of olive oil in the pan, then add sausage and cook until browned about 6 minutes, stirring until no pink remains. Add the remaining ingredients and saute until the vegetables are tender.

Let stand 5 minutes to cool.

Top the rested dough with slices of mozzarella cheese, pizza sauce, peppers, onions, and sausage.

Bake the pizza on the bottom rack of the oven for 20–25 minutes or until the crust is golden, the cheese is melted, and the toppings are thoroughly heated. Let stand 5 minutes before slicing.


Ingredients

1 lb of your favorite pizza dough or use my recipe
Olive oil
1 tablespoon pizza seasoning (see below)
8 oz mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced

2 cups ricotta cheese
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon salt

3 oz baby spinach leaves
2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

Remove the pizza dough from the refrigerator an hour before you are ready to prepare the pizza.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Coat a large pizza (16 inches) pan with olive oil spray.
Press the dough out in the pan all the way to the edges and up the sides a bit. Brush the dough with olive oil and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of the pizza seasoning. Arrange the sliced mozzarella over the dough.

Combine the ricotta, cream, and salt. Mix well and pour over the sliced mozzarella.
Arrange the spinach leaves over the ricotta. Sprinkle the shredded mozzarella and parmesan over the spinach.
Place the pan in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes and then cut into slices.

Pizza Seasoning

Ingredients

6 tablespoons dried Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon dried onion flakes (or onion powder)
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 tablespoon paprika
½ tablespoon coarse black pepper
½ tablespoon red pepper flakes

Combine all spices in a bowl and mix well.
Store in a sealed container.


Creamy Spinach Pizza

Pizza Dough
Makes one 16 inch round pizza. You can prepare the dough one day ahead and refrigerate overnight or use the traditional rise. This is a very forgiving dough.

Ingredients

1 teaspoon instant yeast
1 teaspoon honey
1 cup lukewarm water
3 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Topping
1 cup cooked spinach, chopped
1 cup ricotta cheese, drained
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
8 oz mozzarella cheese, sliced
3 oz crumbled feta cheese
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

Directions

Combine all the ingredients for the dough in the large bowl of an electric mixer and with the paddle attachment mix until the ingredients come together around the paddle. Attach the dough hook and knead the dough for 5-6 minutes.

Place in a greased bowl, cover, and let rise until doubled.

For an overnight rise:  Spray a large ziplock plastic bag with olive oil cooking spray. Place the dough in the bag and close the top. Place the bag in the refrigerator overnight. When ready to make the pizza, remove the bag from the refrigerator 30 minutes before making the pizza.

Turn the oven to 450 degrees F and let the oven heat for 30 minutes.

Mix the ricotta with salt, pepper, and parmesan cheese.

Prepare the crust: flour your hands lightly and pat the dough evenly into a lightly oiled 16″ pizza pan.

Top the crust in the following order: slices of mozzarella cheese, ricotta cheese, spinach, feta cheese, and oregano.

Bake the pizza on the bottom rack of the oven for about 20 minutes or until the crust is golden. Let stand 5 minutes before slicing.

I serve this pizza with a tomato salad.


Overnight Pizza Dough

Makes one 16 inch round pizza. Prepare the dough one day ahead. This process makes the best pizza dough.

Ingredients

1 teaspoon instant yeast
1 teaspoon honey
1 cup lukewarm water
3 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Directions

Combine all the ingredients for the dough in the large bowl of an electric mixer and with the paddle attachment mix until the ingredients come together around the paddle. Attach the dough hook and knead the dough for 5-6 minutes.

Spray a large ziplock plastic bag with olive oil cooking spray. Place the dough in the bag and close the top. Place the bag in the refrigerator overnight.

When ready to make the pizza, remove the bag from the refrigerator 30 minutes before making the pizza. Turn the oven to 450 degrees F and let the oven heat for 30 minutes.

Pizza Ingredients

8 oz Italian fontina cheese, sliced
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Topping Ingredients

¾ cup green Italian olives pitted and chopped
½ cup pitted and sliced Kalamata olives
½ sliced roasted red peppers
½ cup baby artichoke hearts, sliced in half
3 tablespoon capers

Directions

Combine the topping ingredients together in a medium mixing bowl.
Prepare the crust: flour your hands lightly and pat the dough evenly into a lightly oiled 16″ pizza pan.

Top the crust with the sliced fontina followed by the shredded mozzarella. Sprinkle the topping ingredients evenly over the cheese.
Bake the pizza on the bottom rack of the oven for 20–25 minutes or until the crust is golden, the cheese is melted, and the toppings are thoroughly heated. Let stand 5 minutes before slicing.


In the mood for deep-dish pizza? No need to to get take out because this deep dish pizza is easy to make at home.

Chicago-Style Pan Pizza

Makes two 10-inch deep-dish pizzas.

Ingredients

1 recipe Deep Dish Pizza Dough, recipe below
8 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 pound Italian sweet sausage, crumbled
1/2 pound button mushrooms, chopped
1 cup chopped onions
2 garlic cloves, minced
26-28 oz container chopped Italian tomatoes
1 teaspoon dried Italian herbs
1 teaspoon of sea salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
16 oz mozzarella, shredded
Grated Parmesan Cheese

Directions

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil in two 10-inch round deep dishpans. Place one dough ball in each pan and press into the pan until the edge of the dough reaches the corners of the pan. Press the dough so that the edges rise up slightly. Cover the pans with a kitchen towel and set aside to rest as you prepare the filling.


Place a large saute pan over medium heat and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the sausage and cook until lightly caramelized, about 4 minutes. Add the mushrooms and onions and cook until soft, about 4 minutes. Add garlic, Italian herbs, crushed red pepper flakes, black pepper, and tomatoes to the pan and cook until thickened, about 1 hour. Allow to cool to room temperature and divide the mixture in half.


Sprinkle the bottom of each dough with 1/4 of the shredded cheese, about 1/2 cup. Spread an equal amount of the sausage mixture over the dough in each pan. Drizzle each with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and then top each pizza with the remaining mozzarella cheese and a sprinkling of Parmesan. Transfer the pizzas to the oven and bake until the dough has risen, the cheese has melted, and the surface of the pizza and dough are a golden brown, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, let rest 10 minutes, cut into wedges, and serve hot.

Deep Dish pizza dough ingredients:
2 ¼ teaspoons (1 packet) instant yeast
1 cup warm water (110 degrees F)
Pinch of sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for coating bowl
3 cups all-purpose flour

Directions

In a large mixer bowl fitted with the paddle attachment, add all the dough ingredients. Mix until the dough forms a ball around the paddle. Remove the paddle and switch to the dough hook and knead the dough for 7 minutes to form a smooth and elastic dough that is not sticky. Transfer dough to a lightly oiled large bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, usually 1 hour. Divide dough into 2 portions and form each into a ball.


America is a land of many cultures. Our ancestors came from around the world to settle here and that is what makes our country so unique and diversified. This diversity is also obvious in our food and I feel it is so important to preserve those recipes. It was one of the reasons I started my blog seven years ago because I had hoped to preserve my family’s Italian recipes for those who came after me.

Growing up in NJ, I took for granted the pizzeria downtown for Friday night dinner, the bagel shop for Sunday breakfast and the taco stand for a quick lunch. In just about any city in America, it is relatively easy to find: Lebanese, African, Ethiopian, Chinese, Mexican, Greek, Indian, French, Japanese, Italian, Polish, Korean, Vietnamese, Jamaican, etc. food. Each wave of immigrants has brought a new level of food identity and traditions to our country.

Some of my past series have described the individual uniqueness of the regions of Italy, the food of America’s many Little Italies and the cuisines of the Mediterranean. In my new series, I want to celebrate the cuisine of the many cultures represented in America by preparing the dishes and sharing the recipes with you.

Rank Ancestry or race Population Percent of total population
1 German 46,403,053 14.7%
2 Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 38,785,726 12.3%
3 Mexican (of any race) 34,640,287 10.9%
4 Irish 33,526,444 10.6%
5 English 24,787,018 7.8%
6 American 22,746,991 7.2%
7 Italian 17,285,619 5.5%
8 Polish 9,385,766 3.0%
9 French 8,272,538 2.6%
10 Scottish 5,409,343 1.7%
11 Puerto Rican (of any race) 5,174,554 1.6%
12 Norwegian 4,445,030 1.4%
13 Dutch 4,289,116 1.4%
14 Swedish 3,933,024 1.2%
15 Chinese 3,852,099 1.2%
16 Asian Indian 3,303,512 1.0%
17 Scotch-Irish 3,046,005 1.0%
18 Russian 2,843,400 0.9%
19 West Indian (non-Hispanic) 2,824,722 0.9%
20 Filipino 2,717,844 0.9%

Italian American Pizza

Pizza became most popular in America after soldiers stationed in Italy returned from World War II. During the latter half of the 20th century, pizza became a dish of considerable popularity in the United States. The United States pizza restaurant industry is worth $37 billion and has an organized industry association. However, in my mind homemade makes best.


Easy Overnight Pizza Dough

Makes one 16 inch round pizza. Prepare the dough one day ahead. This process makes the best pizza dough.

Ingredients

1 teaspoon instant yeast
1 teaspoon honey
1 cup lukewarm water
3 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Pizza Sauce

Ingredients

26 oz container strained or finely chopped Italian tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon honey
1 tablespoon olive oil

Topping

Pizza sauce, recipe above
8 oz mozzarella cheese, sliced
1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
3 oz sliced pepperoni
Black pepper and oregano for sprinkling on top

Directions

One day before making the pizza:

Combine all the ingredients for the dough in the large bowl of an electric mixer and with the paddle attachment mix until the ingredients come together around the paddle. Attach the dough hook and knead the dough for 5-6 minutes.

Spray a large ziplock plastic bag with olive oil cooking spray. Place the dough in the bag and close the top. Place the bag in the refrigerator overnight.

When ready to make the pizza, remove the bag from the refrigerator 30 minutes before making the pizza. Turn the oven to 400 degrees F and let the oven heat for 30 minutes.

Combine all the ingredients for the pizza sauce in a saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook uncovered for 30 minutes.

Mix the ricotta with ½ teaspoon salt. ¼ teaspoon black pepper, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, and 1 teaspoon dried parsley.

Prepare the crust: flour your hands lightly and pat the dough evenly into a lightly oiled 16″ pizza pan.

Top the crust in the following order: slices of mozzarella cheese, pizza sauce, pepperoni, ricotta cheese dropped by tablespoons, and oregano.

Bake the pizza on the bottom rack of the oven for 20–25 minutes or until the crust is golden, the cheese is melted, and the toppings are thoroughly heated. Let stand 5 minutes before slicing.


Easy Overnight Pizza Dough

Makes one 16 inch round pizza. Prepare the dough one day ahead. This process makes the best pizza dough.

Ingredients

1 teaspoon instant yeast

1 teaspoon honey

1 cup lukewarm water

3 cups bread flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Sausage and Peppers Topping

8 oz spicy Italian Sausage, cut into thin slices

1 lb small bell peppers, sliced thin

1 large onion sliced thin

1 clove garlic, minced

1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning

8 oz mozzarella cheese, sliced thin

Olive oil

Pizza Sauce

26 oz container strained Italian tomatoes

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

½ teaspoon garlic powder

½ teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning

½ teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon honey

1 tablespoon olive oil

Directions

One day before making the pizza:

Combine all the ingredients for the dough in the large bowl of an electric mixer and with the paddle attachment mix until the ingredients come together around the paddle. Attach the dough hook and knead the dough for 5-6 minutes.

Spray a large ziplock plastic bag with olive oil cooking spray. Place the dough in the bag and close the top. Place the bag in the refrigerator overnight.

When ready to make the pizza, remove the bag from the refrigerator 30 minutes before making the pizza. Turn the oven to 400 degrees F and let the oven heat for 30 minutes.


Combine all the ingredients for the pizza sauce in a saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook uncovered for 30 minutes.

Preheat a large sauté pan on medium-high and place 1 tablespoon of olive oil in the pan, then add sausage and cook until browned about 6 minutes, stirring until no pink remains. Add the garlic, Italian seasoning, peppers and onions and saute until the vegetables are tender.

Let stand 5 minutes to cool.

Prepare the crust: flour your hands lightly and pat the dough evenly into a lightly oiled 16″ pizza pan. Top the crust with slices of mozzarella cheese, pizza sauce, peppers, onions, and sausage.

Bake the pizza on the bottom rack of the oven for 20–25 minutes or until the crust is golden, the cheese is melted, and the toppings are thoroughly heated. Let stand 5 minutes before slicing.



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