Fork-and-Knife Salami and Kalamata Pizza

dsc_0234RECIPE #422, DAY #596

FOUR STARS

ORIGINAL RECIPE: “All-Dressed G-Style Pizza,” from Nadia G’s Cookin’ for Trouble*

TIMING: 30 minutes

DIFFICULTY: Medium

TOOLS: Pizza pan, pizza cutter, mixing bowl

COOK TYPE: Oven

HEALTH: I don’t look down on pizza as much as most health nuts. With grain, protein, and even the option of veggies, I consider a well-made pizza a complete meal, and one that families can come together to love. This particular pizza is a little heavy on the cheese and cured meat, but it also has plenty of veg, spices, and aromatics. It could hold up to a whole wheat crust, too, if that’s important to you.dsc_0235

EXPERIENCE: Our family has pizza and sits down in front of a movie every Friday night. My five-year-old nephew even knows this, which is why he manages to come over to hang whenever he can, on a Friday night. However, after years of this tradition, and facing my kids’ bull-headed allegiance to my usual pan pizza, I have decided lately to make some different pizzas. This one looked so good, I couldn’t pass it by.

It was de-licious. Seriously. But it was also so heavy that we had to eat it with a fork and knife. There are some steps taken to buff up the crust to hold all that goodness, but it doesn’t entirely work. In the end, it tastes like a really fabulous, open-faced calzone. Which we’ll take, happily, but my husband and I–loyal to the New York style crust–would like to be warned ahead of time.

This was filling enough that we didn’t even need a salad or garlic knots or antipasto or anything.

NOTES: Don’t touch this combo. It’s beautiful.

You could make your own pizza dough, obviously, even in the bread maker. I just snag one at the grocery store on Friday morning. (And still, my pizza never tastes as amazing as the pizza they sell at the same counter I buy the dough. I think it’s the pizza oven and all that cornmeal. Perhaps that hand-tossing, too.)

It is imperative you keep as much moisture out of the topping as possible. When I say drain or dry, I mean it.

You can combine the sauce ahead of time and let it meld in the fridge, covered, for up to a day. I’m not sure this is necessary.

Since fresh mozzarella can be quite expensive, I used 1/2 pound of that and 1/2 pound grated mozzarella. That worked.

***

  1. Preheat the oven to 475F, placing the rack close to the bottom.
  2. In a mixing bowl, hand-crush 12 canned plum tomatoes. Drain. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 pressed garlic cloves, 4 minced basil leaves, 1/4 cup minced parsley, 1/2 teaspoon dry basil, 1/2 teaspoon oregano, 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flake, 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Set aside.
  3. Lightly grease you pizza pan. Pull 1 pizza dough out and fit into the pan. Once the oven is completely hot, bake the crust for 10 minutes.
  4. When the crust comes out of the oven, spread with the tomato sauce, then layer on 1 pound sliced fresh (and hand-dried with paper towel) mozzarella, 1/2 cup grated Pecorino, 1/4 pound Genoa salami cut into strips, and 1/2 cup halved kalamata olives. Bake for 10 minutes or more, until everything is melty, browned, and bubbly.
  5. Slice up and serve topped with 1/2 cup julienned arugula.

***

Serve with a movie and some Coca Cola, duh.

LEFTOVER IDEAS: Typical pizza. You could eat it cold for breakfast, or–without the arugula–rewarm it in the toaster oven for lunch.

*Recipe changed from the original.

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