When I was a kid my grandmother would always pick me up from elementary school and watch me until my parents got off from work and picked me up. Every once in a while I would walk in the house and see pizza sitting in the kitchen waiting for me. Now when I say pizza it is not the DiGiorno or even regular homemade pizza, my grandmother had her own way of making pizza. She would roll the pizza dough out so thin you could almost see the pan through the dough, then she would add her homemade marinara sauce and instead of tons of toppings and mozzarella cheese she would top it with Parmesan. There was something about this very simple pizza that set it apart from all the others.
When I heard about Saving Second Base I knew I had to participate and one of the things I thought about making was my grandmother's pizza. Saving Second Base is a breast cancer e-cookbook project consisting of stories and recipes about loved ones who have fought against breast cancer. At the end of the month they will compile all of the stories and recipes into an e-cookbook and all of the proceeds from the sales will go to Susan G. Komen foundation. My family has always participated in the Susan G. Komen race for the cure back in my hometown so when I heard about this I knew that I had to participate.
My grandmother was one of those brave woman who endured breast cancer and she thankfully was one that kicked it in the butt. She fought against breast cancer before I was born but growing up I knew what had happened. My grandmother was a strong woman. She took care of my grandfather, always hosted a spaghetti supper on Thursday night's to bring the family together and was always in the kitchen, unless she was in the rocker doing word-find puzzles.
Now I do not have a recipe that was handed down to me from my grandmother. I asked my mom if she could remember what was in my grandmothers pizza and it was no surprise what she told me. According to her, my mom would ask my grandmother what was in her pizza and she would just shrug it off and say, Parmigiano-Reggiano. To her it was nothing special but it was definitely something that lit up my day when she made it. My mother knew that she made it thin crust and that she used her homemade sauce. So I tried to recreate it from memory from when I was a child. I was very pleased when it came out of the oven and I was immediately taken back in time with my grandparents.
- 1 1/4 c. warm water
- 2 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 tsp. salt
- 3 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp. cornmeal
- 1 (28 oz) can whole tomatoes
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- 2 c. freshly grated Parmesan
- Make the dough: Warm up your bowl by running it under hot water. Add 1/4 cup of warm water and yeast. Stir in sugar and let stand for 5 minutes. Add the remaining water, oil and salt. Stir in flour until dough pulls away from the side of the bowl.
- Turn dough onto lightly floured surface, 8-10 minutes. Coat bowl with cooking spray, turning dough in bowl to grease the top. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until almost double in size, about 45 minutes.
- Meanwhile start the pizza sauce by sauteing onions in the oil over medium heat until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook an additional minute. Stir in the tomatoes, tomato paste and oregano. Crush the tomatoes with a masher until it is the consistency you like. Bring to a boil and let simmer over low heat until the dough is ready, stirring occasionally.Salt and pepper to taste.
- When dough is ready, preheat oven to 450°F. Punch down the dough and divide the dough in half. Cover two pizza pans with cooking spray; sprinkle with cornmeal. Roll dough as thin as you can with a roller on a floured surface and then transfer to the pizza pan and let rest for 10 minutes. Continue to stretch dough until you can almost see the pan underneath the dough. Bake pizza crust for 10 minutes.
- Remove crust from oven and spread with enough pizza sauce to cover the dough, about 1 cup. Top each pizza with 1 cup of Parmesan cheese to layer the sauce. Bake until cheese is melted 15-20 minutes.
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Saving Second Base
My Meatless Monday