I have a slight obsession with pizza. There’s something about being able to eat a meal with your hands that is so satisfying. Pizza is casual, but can be fancy and I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like it, which is why it is a perfect dish to serve at a dinner party for friends.
All good pizzas need a good homemade pizza sauce. This one is loaded with fresh garlic, and LOTS of basil.
Homemade dough is easy to make, but you’ve got to plan ahead a bit. The dough needs to rise. This recipe is healthy and hearty because I used 100% whole wheat flour. For a more traditional crust, use white flour, or a combo of the two.
Let’s start with the sauce. I told you, LOTS of basil, LOTS of garlic.
The sauce can be made a few days ahead. Just store it in a glass container and refrigerate. I used canned tomatoes. A blender or processor does most of the work!
The dough can also be made ahead, even frozen. Just pull it out a few hours before you want to roll out your dough. I rolled out two separate “oval-ish” shapes so I could top one with veggies only, and one with sausage.
This is the beginning of a homemade Caesar salad dressing. Yes, you MUST use anchovies! They saltiness makes the dressing.
You can top your pizza with just about anything! But, I used spinach-chicken sausage and caramelized onions.
About 20 minutes before you’re ready to eat, assemble your pizzas, make sure your oven is hot, and watch and smell the pizza magic!
There you have it. Homemade, whole wheat spinach-mushroom-sausage pizza with a spinach Caesar salad with homemade croutons. Enjoy!
HOMEMADE PIZZA SAUCE, adapted from Forno Bravo:
- 1 can (28 ounces) tomatoes. I used whole, peeled but feel free to use crushed, or diced. My favorite brand is San Marzano.
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
- 2-3 tablespoons fresh, chopped basil. *add depending on your flavor preference. I like LOTS of basil.
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 5 cloves fresh garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 6 oz can tomato paste (I usually use the whole can, but depending on the consistency of your sauce, feel free to use less)
- Add all ingredients, except the tomato paste, to a food processor or blender (I used a Vitamix). Blend until well combined.
- Depending on the consistency of your sauce, add tomato paste by the tablespoon-full. Stir to combine.
- Pour into a glass jar and set aside or put in refrigerator. Will store for a few days.
HOMEMADE, WHOLE WHEAT PIZZA DOUGH, adapted from Dinner, A Love Story:
- 3 3/4 cups flour (I used whole wheat flour, but for a lighter crust, use all-purpose, or a combination of whole wheat and white)
- 2 1/2 teaspoons instant or other active dry yeast
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 teaspoon sugar
- 1 1/3 cup room-temperature water (If using whole wheat flour, add another 1/3 cup)
- In a medium-large glass bowl, add the dry ingredients and stir to combine.
- Add the room-temperature water slowly stirring with a wooden spoon.
- Then, use your hands and mix until fully combined.
- Cover dough in bowl, let sit at room temperature until doubled in size, 2 hours.
- Dough can be frozen, or used immediately.
- When you are ready to bake your pizzas, roll out the dough. Put the dough on a baking sheet, coated lightly with olive oil. Add your sauce and toppings of your choosing. I did one with chicken sausage and onions, then cheese and a combo of spinach and mushrooms.
- Bake in a 500 degree oven for about 15 minutes.
- Let cool, just slightly, and serve!
SPINACH CEASAR SALAD, adapted from Martha Stewart:
For the croutons:
- 1 baguette of your choosing (I used an Italian loaf)
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon butter, melted and cooled
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Remove crust from bread. Slice bread into crouton-sized shapes.
- Place bread on a baking sheet and drizzle olive oil and butter on top. Then sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
- Using your hands, mix the bread with the olive oil-butter mixture until fully coated.
- Bake at 450 for 10-15 minutes until desired consistency is reached. Let cool.
For the dressing:
- 2 garlic cloves
- 4 anchovy fillets
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 Tablespoon Greek yogurt (you can use an egg yolk if you like)
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Fresh spinach, washed and dried
- 1 cup shaved parmesan cheese for topping
- Add all ingredients except oil to a food processor and process until mostly combined. Slowly add olive oil and pulse to combine.
- Set aside.
- Add spinach to a big salad bowl. Add croutons and cheese, then dressing.
- Mix to coat salad and serve!