Over Thanksgiving break I did a little underground border crossing to visit my old roommates from Rome, John and Abby.
In tribute to all or good times cooking together in Italia, we decided to bake up a couple of pizzas. Toppings were cut, wine was drunk and we were ready to go.
Abby started with a very ambitious white pizza with potato and zucchini. Fabulous idea, but tough to execute. The end result was as hard as a Michelangelo fresco and the toppings were all shrunk and shriveled. What we learned: When making white pizza, create craters in the crust with your finger tips and drown it in a shameful amount of olive oil. Pre-bake a bit and then add toppings.
I played it safe and made a half margherita/ half zucchini with red peppers and Abby’s homemade pizza sauce. Out of the oven my pizza had a nice presentation and anything topped with fresh mozzarella is gonna taste alright, but the crust on mine was a tooth chipping brick. What we learned: Don’t stretch your dough too thin and give it a chance to rise a bit before adding toppings.
And then in saunters John. He had spent his time in front of the television, watching a football game and playing with their baby daughter, Cora. He picked up where Abby left off on a puffed piece dough, then went completely traditional with a ton of sauce ( I was convinced that was a mistake), mushrooms and prosciutto. I’m telling you he did this all nonchalant and wouldn’t you know his pizza came out best. What he got right: work the sauce, don’t hesitate with the cheese, give the dough a rest and chillax.