Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Tomato and basil and mozz, oh my!

There are just so many things you can do with these 3 ingredients. Maybe it's just me but they never get boring. Let's start with the obvious.


Margharita pizza is the best. It seems fancy (make it for a date, he/she will be impressed that you made pizza at home), it tastes great, it's easy and oh, did I mention it's cheap? Yeah, that's a pretty great bonus.

Magherita Pizza

Baby mozzarella
Basil leaves (half as whole leaves, half cut in chiffonade)
Roma tomatoes (sliced into rounds and pat dry with a towel)
Chopped garlic
Pizza dough
EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)

  1. Preheat oven to 400* F and sprinkle corn meal on a cookie sheet or your pizza stone (this helps to add crunch and keep it from sticking).
  2. If you buy a ball of pizza from the supermarket, I suggest you cut it into thirds and then put two of the thirds each into their own ziplock bag to save in the fridgefor another time. Coat your dough ball with the EVOO and then start to stretch to your desired size. I normally stretch it a little bit using gravity before placing it on my cookie sheet and continuing to stretch.
  3. Once stretched to preferred size, drizzle with EVOO and spread it across the crust as you would marinara sauce.
  4. Lay down your toppings in this order, the whole basil leaves, tomato, chopped garlic, and mozzarella. When placing the mozzarella on the pizza, I've found it easier to tear it into pieces rather than cut it into chunks. 
  5. Bake 8 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with salt and remaining basil and return to the oven for about 10 minutes or until cheese is melty and crust is golden brown.
  6. Let cool slightly, cut up and enjoy!

Another great use for these awesome ingredients is pasta sauce/toppings! No recipe here as it's fairly intuitive. 

Option 1: Place two whole tomatoes in a blender/food processor with two garlic cloves, a few basil leaves and process until it reaches the desired consistency. Cook on stove until sauce goes from pink to brick red, salt to taste. Pour over cooked pasta along with some mozzarella that you've torn and tossed in.

Option 2: Dice one tomato and a clove of garlic, chiffonade a small bunch of basil. Toss in a bowl large enough to hold the pasta when it's finished cooking. In the bowl with the tomato, basil and garlic add about a tablespoon of EVOO and a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar, toss to coat. When pasta is done cooking drain and add to the bowl and toss to distribute the toppings. At this point you can add in some torn mozzarella or, if it were me, in this case I'd forego the mozzarella and top with shredded parmigiano-reggiano

So, as I said on twitter, if you're broke as a joke, margherita pizza is your friend. Plus the leftover ingredients can be used to make two more awesome meals. Sure, it'll be a week of italian food, but truly, who could complain about that? :)

More recipes soon! I promise I won't be absent as long this time! :D