What I Made for Dinner

What I Made for Dinner, 3/31

I got ambitious. Why? Because this blog commitment weighs on me. I feel I have to deliver real meals for you voracious readers. And as I am a lousy cook with no ability to plan ahead I can only be spurred to achievement by one thing: fear of failure.

The fear took pizza form again. I vowed to do better after my previous pizza fiasco. And this time? No premade crust.

OK, it was partially premade. It was frozen dough. But I defrosted it, oiled it and tried to roll it out. That was my first sticking point. How the heck do you roll pizza dough? I was trying to remember the "I Love Lucy" pizza episode. I ended up with a lumpy dough with several holes in it, but I just did kind of a patchwork thing. Shoutout to my husband for helping—he jumped in when I was ready to give up and between the two of us we made the crust work.

The recipe after the jump:

Frozen pizza dough
A little oil (olive) on the pizza pan
Pizza sauce (premade. I know, I know, making it from scratch is better. I get it, ok?)
Mozzarella cheese (I thought I had some leftover from last time but it was gone. Fortunately I live 2 blocks away from a pizza place where they make fresh mozzarella, so I bought half a ball for about $4, sliced it up and cut the slices into small bits—it all melted nicely)
Some dried italian seasonings (I would have tried the fresh basil again like last time except it fell out of the freezer one day and shattered on the kitchen floor. I took it as a sign)

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and throw that bad boy inside for about 10 - 15 minutes. I have a toaster/convection oven, so I think things cook a little quicker. I don't actually know how long it took to cook because I realized I didn't have anything to serve with the pizza so I left it in my husband's care while I took a second trip to the pizza place up the street to buy a salad. They call it salad, but it's really a plastic box full of iceberg lettuce topped with 2 slices of cucumber, maybe 4 carrots, and some green and black olives. Oh, and a few rings of red onion, which I put right in the garbage. And some garlic bread.

Result? All family members agreed the pizza was good.



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So my advice for you is Trader Joe's dough. It is great for pizza dough. It's not frozen and if you let it get to room temperature much easier to roll out and super tasty. Trader Joe's is a great grocer store and if you haven't gone shopping there, go. They are great for cheap cracker, cheese, cereal and my favorite organic PopTarts.

Sent by Robin | 5:09 PM | 4-1-2008

my advice for you is to move next door to me...yes, the whole family...so you could eat whole foods!!! quidproquo...i could make you food and you could make me laugh!!!

Sent by jayn | 6:15 PM | 4-1-2008

Usually you roll dough out with flour, to keep it from sticking...not oil.

But I can't roll out a circle...it's not easy. I usually make a rectangular-looking pizza.

Easier, and, it looks more like the pizza in Rome that way. :-)

Sent by carlo | 7:11 PM | 4-1-2008

@Robin, I do know Trader Joe's but unfortunately there isn't one close enough to me for me to be able to go there very often.
@Carlo, I should have pointed out that the oil was applied to the dough during the thawing process. I don't know why, that's just what it said on the directions.
@jayn, where do you live? I'm so there!

Sent by Tricia, NPR | 7:46 PM | 4-1-2008

Tricia, you and the family are definitely invited to our house for pizza some night. Nathaniel would be glad to show Cassie some tricks.

If you start with the dough in a ball, and roll evenly in all directions (yes, using flour) to start, then use your hands to continue stretching rather than rolling...that helps to keep it in a circle. There's a reason the pizza guys throw the dough in the air and spin it (fun to try, but don't throw too high). Anyway, thinking in terms of gentle stretching helps.

Sent by Sarah Goodyear | 9:05 PM | 4-1-2008

I'm totally stealing this recipe. I've been looking for a good pizza recipe. Should we use EVOO (Extra virgin olive oil)?

Sent by Daniel | 4:23 AM | 4-2-2008

There's no shame in pre-made sauce! Especially when there are good ones available like Muir Glen. If you really want to mix it up, Pesto is always a nice substitute for red sauce. We actually made pizza last night - and used a fast crust recipe that used beer for the leavening, but if there are good pre-made doughs out there... why bother!

Sent by Anna | 10:17 AM | 4-2-2008

Kitchen Window on NPR.org had a great and easy homemade recipe for pizza dough that I have used about a dozen times since it was posted about a month or so ago. It's really fast if you have a food processor, and the dough freezes well too. Just thaw, roll out at room temp and put the toppings on. Lovely.

Sent by stacy Bryant | 11:14 AM | 4-2-2008

I second Robin's Trader Joe's suggestion. They have a whole wheat dough I love and my son has so much fun making his own pizza (tossing the dough in the air and all) he doesn't mind the wheat.

Sent by Naomi Seibert | 2:59 PM | 4-2-2008