Homemade pizza

Some days just call for a homemade pizza.  For instance, I had thrown a party and had leftovers up the whazoo of things like fresh mozzarella, marinated artichoke hearts, fresh peppers, broccoli, etc.  Best way that I could think of to use them all up was to make a pizza.

the ingredients

When I make a pizza at home I will sometimes use a store-bought dough.  It’s not that making your own is difficult, in fact it’s quite easy and you can make lots of it at once and freeze it.  I just didn’t happen to have any on hand in this instance, and I didn’t feel like making it.

  • I preheat the oven to 500 degrees so that it’s nice and hot when the pie first goes in
  • Next I roll out my dough on a well-floured surface, making sure not to make any spots see-through thin but also working out any air bubbles, and place it on a room-temperature pizza/bread stone
  • I spread my favorite sauce over the dough, thinly (of it’s too thick then the dough will be soggy)

sauced dough

  • Then add the toppings which may include meats, veggies, herbs, cheese- anything you like

the toppings

  • Pop the pizza, on the stone, into the oven and decrease the heat to 425 degrees.  Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the crust turns a beautiful golden brown and the cheese is thoroughly melted

the finished pie

  • Let the pie rest for a couple of minutes, slice and serve

J

Linguine with Artichokes and Red Lentil Sauce

This is a great recipe for a main course.  It can be made as-is for a vegetarian dish or you could add some grilled chicken or shrimp.  For this round I chose to serve it with lima beans for protein.  They have such fantastic flavor and texture (and Neil and I both love them).  The lentils are a wonderful pairing with the fresh lemon juice, and the artichoke hearts add an element of buttery sweetness.  This is a perfect fit for a healthy meal with tons of flavor.

Ingredients

1 cup low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth

1 cup finely chopped yellow onion

3/4 cup dried red lentils

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

6 tablespoons lemon juice

1/2 pound whole wheat linguine

¼ pound fresh green beans, cut to one-inch lengths

1 cup mushrooms, chopped

4 artichoke hearts, rinsed, drained and quartered

Handful of frozen peas

Directions

  • In a medium pot add broth, 1 cup water, onion, lentils, garlic, mushrooms and green beans and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until lentils are very tender and falling apart, about 20 minutes.
  • Remove from heat, add lemon juice and stir until lentils break apart to make a sauce.   Add peas.
  • Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add linguine and cook until al dente, drain and return to pot.
  • Immediately add artichoke hearts and lentil sauce to hot pasta, toss well and serve.

The left-overs from this dish are spectacular too!

J