I was watching "Ask Aida" on Food Network the other day, and she baked four pizzas, the first of which looked both easy and delicious. I'm a pizza purist; I generally only like one topping, and it has to be meat. I hate veggies on my pizza. The first pizza she made was simple but with a small twist - vodka sauce. Since I love simple pizza and I love pasta dishes with vodka sauce, this seemed like a great recipe for me to try. You can view the recipe here.
First, I started the sauce so that it could simmer while I worked with the dough. The recipe said to cook it long enough so that the vodka smell cooks off, but mine didn't really smell like vodka at all even at the beginning...I guess I didn't use enough, but it didn't seem to hurt the taste. (I also used a really cheap sketchy vodka.)
While the sauce cooked, I started rolling out the dough - just a bag of plain fresh pizza/bread dough from the grocery store. Maybe in the future, I'll try making my own dough from scratch...that might be beyond my kitchen capabilities, though! My dough seemed to think it was still Valentine's Day. Try as I might, I could not get it into a circle. It kept bouncing back to a heart shape.
Next, I chopped up some fresh mozzarella. According to Aida, the key is to get low moisture mozzarella. Otherwise, it'll sweat all over the pizza. I was afraid my slices were too thick (about a half inch), but they actually melted down pretty thinly as the pizza cooked.
Here's the dough on the oily pan...still heart-shaped...
The recipe didn't call for pepperoni, but I like meat.
Here's the pizza, ready to go in the oven. Toppings include vodka sauce, pepperoni, fresh mozzarella, and fresh basil.
And the final product! The basil got a little scorched. In the future, I might add it on in the middle of the baking so that it stays a nice green. The crust expanded nicely (and nearly formed a circle, not a heart.)
Overall, this was a quick and easy recipe, and it tasted great! Next, I might try Aida's dessert pizza. The next day, I used some of my leftover ingredients for lunch - ziti with pepperoni, basil, and mozzarella. Too bad I didn't have any vodka sauce leftover.