Getting it right can sometimes mean doing it yourself. This may not be your first thought when it comes to pizza, or anything that is so easily obtained via delivery to your front door, but you might be surprised with the do-it-yourself satisfaction and personalization. How many times has a pizza been too greasy, too cheesy or not saucy enough for your perfect pizza? Try this Home-style Vegetarian Pizza instead, and satisfy your appetite every time.
Make this Home-style Vegetarian Pizza with fresh pizza dough, which is actually cheaper than the store-bought crusts like the Boboli brand. Purchase a pizza dough ball for just $2.50 at the famed Village Bakery on G Street. Although it certainly helps to cook on a pizza stone, it is by no means the only way. In lieu of a pizza stone (which you can obtain at Ace Housewares if desired), simply divide your dough into two mini-pizzas and utilize a large baking sheet. You can even place your pizzas directly on the oven rack if preferred for a crispier pizza.
The best part of homemade pizza is, of course, the luxury and fun of adding your toppings. In a day and age where dietary restrictions are a frequent concern, you get a chance to regulate exactly what you are eating — the quantity of cheese (if any), the type of dough, the overflow or sparseness of toppings, etc. Of course, there is no guarantee that you’ll be able to toss pizzas with the best of them back in the Italian homeland, but it’s a guarantee that your pizza will be built to your personal perfection in your kitchen.
- 1 ball prepared pizza dough
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp cornmeal
- 1 cup mozzarella, grated
- 1/4 red bell pepper, julienned
- 1/4 cup mushrooms, sliced
- 1/4 cup pineapple, sliced
- 1/4 cup red onion, julienned
- 1 tbsp sliced olives
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 onion, finely minced
- 1 celery stalk, finely minced
- 1 (15-oz) can tomato sauce
- 1 (6-oz) can tomato paste
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1 tsp basil
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Saute the onion and celery in one tablespoon of olive oil until the vegetables have softened, approximately ten minutes. Add the tomato sauce, tomato paste, sugar, oregano, thyme and basil. Simmer for at least another ten minutes.
Set the pizza dough ball on a flat surface (sprinkle surface with cornmeal to prevent it from sticking). Knead the dough, using your fingertips or a rolling pin to press outward until you have reached a thin round about twelve inches in diameter. If you do not have a large pizza stone or prefer to make individual pizzas, divide the dough and make two six-inch mini-pizzas. Brush dough with olive oil, which will prevent it from getting soggy.
Spread the sauce along the dough. Next, either pinch the edges or roll over about an inch to create the crust. Sprinkle the mozzarella over the sauce. Top with the bell pepper, mushroom, pineapple, olive and red onion.
If using a pizza stone, be sure to sprinkle additional cornmeal over the pizza stone before cooking. Bake for around twenty-five minutes, or until the crust has turned a golden-brown color.