One of the simplest pleasures in life is a humongous pizza. Sit and imagine with me.. the warm pepperoni, creamy sauce, garlicky crust, chock full of your fave toppings, and capped off with cheese. It doesn’t get much better than that. In our house, semi homemade pizza is our thing. I do not remember when we started making homemade pizzas, but I am sure glad we did. We get reallyyyyy into it. Like so into it that we get cranky with one another because we want to execute it just right.
Each time we make pizza we try something new. This has helped us learn what works and what doesn’t. One time we tried to make our own sauce from scratch. It did not turn out great, but it tasted like perseverance. We have had pizzas stick to the pizza stone, can we say pizza bowls for dinner? We have had way too thin crusts, overly bubbly crusts, burnt crusts (which are THE WORST), and everything in between. And each time we make pizza, we have a new rule or revelation that we abide by the next go round. One of my fave tips we have learned was to use cornmeal to keep the crust from sticking. This came after eating pizza crust that had a half inch of flour on the bottom (gag me). I’m telling y’all this for two reasons: 1. Cooking is a try, fail, tweak, and try again hobby. For self taught cooks, like myself, you learn as you go. This is what makes cooking fun and exciting. You get to try a new tactic each time until you finally have mastered the dish. 2. Since I have failed so many times, I know what it takes to make it right. This recipe is DELICIOUS because my husband and I have tested it countless times.
So what makes this recipe “homemade”? The first thing is that the sauce is not jarred. But don’t get me wrong, I use jarred marinara sauce all.the.time. My favorite is Rao’s marinara, it is simply perfect. I do like to make my own from time to time, and this recipe details the homemade sauce. The second aspect is the crust. I have a life saving hack for the crust. Publix sells pre made pizza dough in the deli and it is delicious. It takes no effort and is available everyday. You can make your own crust or use pre baked, that is perfectly fine. But my go to is the one at Publix. If you buy the balled dough it can make two pizzas, which is a bonus because my husband and I like different toppings.
On to the discussion of toppings. Everyone is different and has their go to’s. In my home it is pepperoni (my husband says it is not a pizza without pepperoni), mushrooms, and black olives. But for this recipe I added a few others to change it up! Some of my other favorite toppings are Italian sausage, onions, salami, garlic, rotisserie chicken, and peppers. We usually make two pizzas and add different toppings on each. For the cheese, I use a bagged pizza blend that my grocery store sells. But if I cannot find it we use mozzarella, it’s simple and delicious.
Now onto a game changer when it comes to pizza. I discovered Burrata cheese a while ago. If you have not had this magical cheese go to your grocery store and pick some up NOW. It is fresh mozzarella cheese soaked in cream and then stuffed inside more fresh mozzarella. I mean, it is heavenly. After your pizzas come out of the oven, I drizzle the Burrata with Italian dipping oil and we use that to top each bite of pizza. It adds a nice creaminess and flavor to a dish that is already stellar. My husbands says it brings it all together, and man is he right.
So the next time you are craving pizza, give this recipe a go. You will not be disappointed.
Side note: If you are like me and cannot find the time or energy some nights to make this pizza dish, I wanted to share some of my favorite store bought pizzas. Because lets be real, sometimes a frozen pizza hits the spot and is so easy and convenient that it makes it taste that much more delicious.
-California Pizza Kitchen BBQ Chicken Pizza
-Newman’s Own Thin and Crispy Supreme Pizza
-California Pizza Kitchen Crispy Thin Crust Pizza White Recipe
-Private Selection French Goat Cheese and Marinated Vegetable Thin Crust Pizza
Publix pizza dough ball in deli section
1/4 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup yellow onion- finely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil or butter
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 cup chicken broth or white wine
1/2 cup half and half
6-8 basil leaves, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
Italian sausage, browned
1 bag shredded pizza blend or mozzarella cheese
Italian dipping oil
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees (or whatever temp your dough calls for)
- Follow the directions for how to proof your pizza dough
- For the pizza sauce
- Sauté the onions in the oil or butter until soft and translucent
- Add the garlic and tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes
- Stir in the chicken broth or wine. Bring to a low boil. Allow the sauce to reduce until it is slightly thick
- Stir in the half and half and salt. Cook until it has reduced to your desired thickness. Usually around 5-10 minutes
- Add the basil at the end. Set the sauce aside
- Prep your toppings
- Use flour to roll out the dough to your desired thickness
- Place the pizza dough on a pizza stone or baking sheet sprinkled with corn meal (this helps the pizza from sticking)
- Add the sauce to the dough
- Add your toppings to the pizza. We layer with the meat first and the veggies on top
- Top the pizza with the shredded mozzarella cheese. Make sure not to add too much, about a cup of cheese is the perfect amount
- Bake your pizza according to the dough instructions. For the Publix dough, it takes around 15-25 minutes
- Place the Burrata on a plate and drizzle with the Italian dipping oil
- To serve your delicious homemade pizza, cut the pizza to your desired size and shape. For each bite, add some of the burrata/dipping oil
- Bon appetite!
The pizza sauce is slightly creamier than traditional sauce
The top pizza has salami, pepperoni, Italian sausage, mushrooms, and black olives. The bottom pizza has Italian sausage, mushrooms, black olives, and fresh mozzarella cheese.