Feminist, Fictionista, Foodie, Francophile

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Pizza Recipe of Your Dreams

It's a cold day in L.A. so I am making pizza.
Why not just order in, you might say?
Because most order-in pizza is totally disgusting. IMHO.
The first time I tasted a piece of store-bought pizza, I couldn't believe how sweet the tomato sauce was or how doughy the crust was. (And I like thick crust.)
Photo by Alex Fiore
Eleanor Trigg's pizza spoiled me for life.
Eleanor was a friend of my mother's, a fellow Army wife who stayed in touch after their husbands' careers took them in different directions.
She shared a lot of recipes with my mother, not all of them awesome. (The lemon-current cake, as I recall, was not a keeper.) This recipe, though, is the best pizza I ever ate. People have proposed marriage to get this recipe.
I know it's Thanksgiving week and the last thing you probably want to do is spend more time in the kitchen, but trust me. It will be worth it.No need to thank me, it's my pleasure.
As I look over the recipe, by the way, I realize that I annotate recipes the same way my mother did. Like mother/like daughter, I guess.

Eleanor Trigg’s Pizza as interpreted by Mickey Tomlinson as handed down to me…
2 pkgs of bulk pork sausage  (I use Jimmy Dean’s hot.  You can also use turkey sausage)
1 yellow onion, diced
½ cup (or more) dried Parmesan cheese (in the green canister, not fresh)
Garlic to taste
Italian seasoning to taste
2 large cans tomato paste
Lick of olive oil
In a heavy skillet (I use cast iron) with a splash of olive oil, brown the sausage, breaking it up. 
Add the onions and cook until translucent.
Add the garlic and seasonings
Add the parmesan cheese (I usually just shake this out of the canister and use a lot)
The cheese will start melting…
Add the two cans of tomato paste and mix everything together.
Set aside while you roll out your dough.   (If I have time I make it from scratch but there are some pretty good frozen pizza doughs available.)
Use a paper towel to absorb any liquid fat that pools in the sauce.
Spread the sauce on the pizza dough and bake until pizza dough is golden.  At that point if you want to mess up your pizza with pepperoni, peppers, mushrooms, pineapple or other extraneous ingredients, put them on the pie and then cover with mozzarella.
Put the pizza back in the oven for the cheese to melt.
When I make this for parties and people follow me into the kitchen to get pieces fresh from the oven. People have fought over the last piece.  You will never feel the same way about Papa John's again.

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