Parmesan Pizza

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.

pizza dough
  • 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
Pizza sauce
  • 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
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 2 c. freshly grated Parmesan

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
♦Depending how much your stretch the dough and how thin you can get it, you might need more or less cheese and pizza sauce. Just alter the amount based on the size of crust you end up with.

This post is submitted in
Saving Second Base
My Meatless Monday


Kirby said...

I love any kind of pizzas, esp. simple but yummy ones!

Chef Bee said...

This is probably my favorite food of all. Great pizza.

Plan B

Debbi Does Dinner Healthy said...

I love food memories!! This is a great one, thanks!!

Pam said...

Great story about your grandmother; quite a lady! I was just saying yesterday that I want to make a homemade pizza as I haven't made one in ages. Thanks to you, I've found a recipe to try. Your pizza looks delicious!

Linda said...

Wonderful story! I love how food brings back happy memories from childhood. Your story has inspired me to try your pizza recipe. Thanks!

Beth said...

What a wonderful tribute to your grandmother: both the pizza and the participation in the cookbook. It's such a worthy cause.

Salmon Bear said...

This is fabulous! My dad is a huge fan of thin crust pizza, so I will have to try this recipe. I love your descriptions, too.

Reeni said...

What a sweet story! Your pizza looks delicious! I love a thin and crispy crust like this.

Dr.Sameena Prathap


LOve the pizzzaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa..:)So yumm...


Julie said...

It really does sounds like a wonderful simple pizza! Your grandmother sounds like a great lady :)

shopannies said...

living in house of 6 teens you can bet that they love pizza thanks for sharing

Sara said...

The best recipes are the ones with a story behind them. Your grandmother looks like someone I'd like to know.

Katerina said...

I always remember my grandma's spaghetti with yogurt and garlic and I am very moved. I think the best way to remember those people is through our memories. Simple and tasty pizza.

Joanne said...

What a wonderful, sweet tribute to your grandmother! This pizza sounds glorious and is a nice reminder that sometimes the simplest recipes are the most delicious.

Sweet and Savory said...

Good for your grandmother, fighting for her life and her pizza, not to belittle her life with that comparison. A woman who gives in all areas is special.

Thanks for the link.

Anonymous said...

I love how your crust looks. I've been searching for the perfect crust recipe for a long time, and I can't wait to try yours. Thanks for both the recipe and the lovely story.