Pizza Night

I love pizza. Like really really love it. Growing up in the tri-state area pizza was a Friday night tradition. In my family we had three favorite places for take out: Heights, Stamford Pizza and Sorentos. My parents loved the soup from Sorentos, I preferred the pizza from Heights and Casey favored Stamford Pizza’s salad (they have the best salad dressing and bread sticks). It wasn’t uncommon for my dad to grab soup from one place and pizza and salad from another in the same run.

A few years ago Tommy started making pizza dough from scratch and homemade pizza became our new Friday night tradition. It’s also one of our favorite things to make when we have friends over because everyone can pitch in and customize the toppings. That’s exactly what we did last night.
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Tommy, Ian and Don had skied all day while Korinne and I did some shopping and went through old clothes to bring to Goodwill. We were all tired and wanted to stay in. Pizza and salad was the perfect low key dinner.
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On the menu we had three pizzas: prosciutto and arugula, chicken sausage and veggies, and margarita. It was an all hands on deck affair. Tommy chopped the sausage and vegetables, I dressed the arugula, Ian sliced tomatoes, Don sliced the cheese and Korinne whipped up a salad dressing.
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Korinne is our resident salad dressing maker. Her dressings are the best and no two are ever exactly alike. Last night she used spicy, rosemary infused olive oil, red wine vinegar, freshly squeezed lemon juice, honey mustard and sage. The spicy oil gave it a kick which was nicely offset by the sweetness of the honey mustard and the sprite lemon flavor.
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Tommy’s method for pizza assembly is to roll out the dough and transfer it to our pizza paddle. He dusts the paddle with cornmeal so that the dough can slide on and off easily. Then he oils the dough lightly and tops with sauce. The toppings go on next and are covered with cheese. Last night we mixed shredded mozzarella with thin slices of fresh mozzarella and a sprinkle of Parmesan on top. Then it’s into a 450 degree oven for 10-12 minutes.
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The only exception was the prosciutto and arugula pizza. For that one we topped it first with only the sliced prosciutto and cheese and let that cook for about 8 minutes. Then we pulled it out of the oven, topped with the dressed arugula and let it cook for another 3 minutes. That let the greens wilt into the cheese and sauce just enough without being overcooked.
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All three were so delicious but I think this one was my favorite. The combination of the salty prosciutto and the peppery greens was so satisfying. And the crust was puffed and chewy just the way I like it.
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For dessert we had brownie buttons and ice cream. We served the brownies straight from the oven so that they were still warm and gooey on the inside.
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Topped with melted ice cream they were the perfect end to a decadent meal. We left the table stuffed and ready to sleep. The perfect end to a snowy Saturday.

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