Monday, September 22, 2008

Sauce & Pizza...again

Another delicious weekend at the market! We took home a great haul. A lot of tomatoes & apples. Leeks, sausage, peppers, bread, plants, jam, honey...a lot.

Of course, with all those tomatoes, I had to make sauce. It took me about an hour to 90 minutes to prep all the tomatoes! Peeling, seeding, dicing. Overall, a very easy, fast process. But with the volume of tomatoes I had, it took some time. With the final, pre-cooked tomatoes, I had about 4 quarts of diced tomatoes (based on the size of my pot).

Prepped tomatoes.

The tomatoes cooking after 5 minutes. You can start to see the excess juice bubble up on the right hand side of the photo.

Remember to season with salt & pepper; to taste! These were some meaty, hefty tomatoes, so I think I added salt 4-6 times throughout the cooking process. Maybe 2 tablespoons total, but the only thing you can do is to taste and adjust as you go. There is probably 30 grinds of fresh black pepper...again, by taste. When cooking with a fresh, natural ingredient like tomatoes, an exact measurement is hard to give because each and every tomato is different.

An hour of simmering. I gave the sauce a good stir every 15 minutes.

90 minutes later! Sweet, tangy, fresh tomato sauce. Perfect for...

Neopolitan Margherita Pizza!!!

The dough was from this recipe and rolled out thin. The sauce had just been made. The basil was also from the market and the cheese...well, that's from the store.

10 minutes in the oven at 450 degrees. The crust was crisp with a little chew. The sauce was perfect, basil aromatic and the cheese gooey.

While at the market this weekend, I had a neighbor ask if I did anything special to get my pizza dough/crust to turn out so well. I said "no." But was reminded that I do have a pizza stone.

I got one many years ago and rarely used it. Then I read a tip one day, probably from Fine Cooking magazine, that you can leave the stone in your oven all the time. So I do. It helps to even out the temperature of the oven, helps to retain heat and in an instance like this where I'm making a thin, crisp crust, it's in there, getting searing hot and gets that dough working into a great crust. I don't make much's actually been a long time, but the stone really helps in bread breaking as well.

So I have to say that yes, I do do something special to get my pizza crusts turning out so nicely...a pizza stone that is in the oven all the time and a good hot oven.


Em said...

I "made" pizza for dinner the other night, which really just involved assembling store-bought baked dough, sauce, cheese, and veggies. *sigh* Yours puts me to shame!

ScottE. said...

but you made your own!!! That's great!


You know it was better than delivery and frozen varieties! Don't discount the work you did.

Em said...

Thanks Scott! And actually, it was pretty delicious. :)