One of the biggest selling points of our new house was the kitchen. The second that Mr. T and I walked into it when we were viewing the house we were in love. It's huge, there's tons of counter space and storage, and it's just pretty. So obviously we wanted to do some cooking in it. And this past Sunday we had the most fun when we had pizza night. Mama C even joined in and helped too. We decided on pizza night after looking through our Newlywed cookbook. We bought it over a year ago at a cute little boutique in Brooklyn (it's also available on Amazon) and we've never even used it. But with the kitchen, we decided that once a week or so we'd go through some of our cook books and actually make some of the recipes in them. We have so many cookbooks gathering dust. It's ridiculous.
The cookbook has a whole section on entertaining and one of the ideas was to host a pizza night. I honestly have no idea why we didn't think about it before. It's perfect. We love pizza.
We decided we would just make a ton of little pizzas. That way we could try a few different things and some old standbys and have more of a variety. And we could all have something we like regardless if anyone else likes it (I never get to have olives).
So Sunday night, that's what we did. Here's how we had our pizza night.
Make the dough
You may remember that I have a pizza dough recipe on my blog. Mr. T and I are trying to stay away from sugar and after some researching, I learned that there's a lot of people who say the sugar isn't necessary when making pizza dough. We searched and searched for recipes and found that's basically true and we could use the recipe we normally use and just omit the sugar. Some people say you have to let the dough sit for hours, but there's discrepancies on that too. So we didn't do that. We just proofed the yeast (which means mixing it with the water). Then mixed in the flour and salt (we didn't use the oil) then let the dough sit in a covered bowl for about 20 minutes. It turned out fine.
Prep the toppings
While the dough is doing its thing, you'll want to prep everything. We chopped up onions, green peppers, yellow peppers, red, peppers, banana peppers, and olives to top the pizza. We had zucchini, but I totally forgot. We also had pepperoni, mozzarella cheese, and pizza sauce.
You can use any toppings you like. Some suggestions aside from those we use are: mushrooms, spinach, tomatoes, bacon, and sausage. But like I said, the sky is the limit. And, seriously, how in world did I forget bacon?
We also made the garlic and greens pizza recipe from the cookbook.
For that you'll need:
- Ricotta cheese
- Shaved Parmesan cheese (I forgot so I just used the grated stuff)
- Kale (or some other hearty green), chopped & stems removed
- 5-6 cloves of garlic, chopped
- Salt & pepper to taste
- A few red pepper flakes
- 2-3 TB olive oil
And the directions are:
- Put olive oil in pan to heat. Then add garlic. Cook until soft.
- Add kale and toss around until it's wilty and soft.
- Add the red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper and toss around to mix it in.
Then just set that aside until you're ready to top the pizzas (you'll add the cheese after it's cooked).
Make the pizzas
We split the dough into six sections. You can do more or less, if you like, depending on how many pizzas you want to make and how thick you want the crust. You can also freeze the dough if you don't use it all.
And now's the fun part - making the pizzas!
Spread flour on a large surface and then everyone can take a section of the dough and roll it out. We didn't use a rolling pin since we were making little pizzas. You can also rub some olive oil on your hands to help work the dough (that's my preferred method).
Once you've flattened the dough to your liking you can top with whatever toppings you like.
We made the following pizzas:
- Olives, pepperoni, sauce, mozzarella cheese
- Peppers, onions, banana peppers, mozzarella cheese, sauce
- Garlic & greens (we put an egg on the top of the pizza just before it went into the oven)
- Ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese, basil, parsley
- Peppers, onions, banana peppers, mozzarella cheese, sauce, pepperoni (x 2)
Put the pizzas on a pan or pizza stone. Cook in a 400 degree oven for about 12 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is melted. I recommend watching them since you have pizzas with different toppings and crust size.
If you're making the garlic and greens pizza, you'll put the ricotta and parmesan cheese on after it comes out of the oven. It gets all melty and gooey.
We put all of the pizzas on our kitchen island, sliced them up, and then just dug in. We also made a salad with some arugula, walnuts, and a yummy vinaigrette mixture from the book (just mix 1 TB spice brown mustard, 1 TB red wine vinegar, 3 TB olive oil, and salt & pepper together) to go on the side.
We were all stuffed full and we had plenty of leftovers for lunch the next day. And the best part? It was so much fun. I'm super excited to do this when we have guests too.