Pizza Dough and Fresh Tomato Sauce
Last night, I cooked up a wonderful dinner courtesy of a new cookbook I purchased for $15 dollars at Borders a few weeks ago, The Gourmet Cookbook. I have no idea why it was on sale for so little, but this book is huge and full of unique, vamped up stand-by and satisfying recipes.
The recipe is like any pizza dough recipe but they provide tips for shaping and detailed instruction for execution. I followed their method and came out with a wonderful pizza dough. The whole process was so enjoyable as I always find working with dough. I just wish that I had a pizza stone to cook it on then it would have been perfection. I had also planned to go along with our fresh pizza dough, the accompaning recipe found a few pages beyond: Fresh Tomato Sauce.
Growing up, I never knew the exsistence of a jarred tomato sauce. Every Sunday morning before church, my mom would begin preparing her sauce for our pasta, which we had every Sunday as far back as I can remember. The sauce would sit on the stove simmering for hours until around early evening when the pasta would get boiling, the ricotta would be dished, black and green olives placed, and the occasional thick rounds of soppresta sliced. As a young adult, I still cannot fathom the use of a jarred sauce; sorry Mr. Newman... I appreciate it and all but there's nothing like homemade. The unlaborious, gratifying task of making tomato sauce is worthy of the 15 minutes preparation for Sunday evening pasta and the following dishes it will adorn over the week. The flavor and love behind it are too special to pass off to a store shelf.
Since we are usually fairly healthy, although more slippage has occured lately, I topped the pizza with large dollops fat free ricotta, turkey pepperoni and a sprinkle of dried basil and pepper. The crust came out very nice, no runny topping falling off the pizza, however, I think I should cook it a tad less next time because although good and crunchy; I prefer my crust a little softer to the bite. The tomato sauce was truely perfection. I definitely found my go-to recipe for tomato sauce. Even though I halved the recipe, I've already used it to make other dishes this week that were equally as tasty.
The pizza dough recipe is a bit long to type out; the book itself is a good resource - I would recommend it highly. Here the recipe adapted slightly for the sauce; I subbed whole no-salt added tomato just because they were cheaper, hence, a smaller dent in my already small budget.
Fresh Tomato Sauce
adapted from The Gourmet Cookbook
3, 28oz cans whole no-salt added tomatos
1 1/2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt (and more to taste as cooking)
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley
Roughly chop tomatoes, reserve juices and set aside.
Heat oil in large pot over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. Add garlic and cook, stirring until just golden, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes, reserved juice, sugar, and salt, bring to a simmer and simmer, uncovering, stirring occasionally until thickened, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Stir in parsley and salt to taste.
Other dishes so far that I have used with this was a healthy, delicious baked chicken parmesean and there's still enough sauce to use again! I'm in love!