Not Fancy Pizza

pizza

OK.  So, this is not fancy pizza.  I already said that, didn’t I?

My favorite pizza is a tie between a really good Margarita (love that tomato, basil, garlic combo) or this one from The Luggage Room that has a fig paste, sharp pungent cheese sprinkles and balsamic something-or-other topped with a simple arugula salad.  Basically it’s all three of my kids’ worst pizza nightmares tossed on a crust.

So, when I make pizza for my low-brow peeps, I keep it pretty vanilla (so to speak.)  Crust, sauce, cheese–sometimes sausage or pepperoni.  That’s really all they desire.

The reason I’m sharing this recipe with you–which is actually more like a tip–is that my not-fancy-pizza works great for school lunches, which, as our winter break has, uh, evaporated, I gotta kick things into high gear again.  I make three or so pizzas at a time, cut them up into just the right sized slices to fit into my reusable lunch pouches, freeze’m and pop’m into said pouches and there you go.  Who doesn’t like pizza for lunch?  Well, actually Josie doesn’t, but she’s definitely in a minority here.

Michelle’s Not Fancy Pizza

Ingredients: Dough.  Sauce.  Cheese.  Whatever else you want.

Directions: I buy my dough (yup.  It’s true) from a local Italian market.  Roll it out and bake at 400 for about 8 minutes so the crust will be a bit crunchier.  Then add sauce and whatever toppings.  Throw back in until cheese is melted and begins to brown.  Now that’s Italian.

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Savory Late-Summer Tomato Pie

whole tomato pie

(Quick, before my internet crashes again!  I hate Charter Communication and I don’t care who knows it!)

OK.  So the without-a-doubt exquisite photo you see above actually started from another completely amazing photo you will now see below:

Didi's tomatoes! These are Didi-delivery tomatoes.

Didi has a patient (she’s a physical therapist) who has a hobby farm and he brought her these tomatoes which she shared with me.  Do I have some awesome girlfriends or what?

So to thank Didi I baked her (OK, yes, and myself) a tomato pie.  Didi called me, pie in mouth (it’s hard to stop once you start) to say that the pie rocked–which I already knew but it’s still fun to hear.

My mother is a gluten free girl and she breaks her routine for two foods I make: pina colada pancakes and this here tomato pie.

Yes.  It’s that good.

Michelle’s Late Summer Tomato Pie

Ingredients (most measurements are approximate): pie crust (see below), 2 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes, 1/3 cup chopped basil, 3-4 crushed garlic cloves, 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, 3/4 cup cubed bread or bread crumbs

Directions: pop your pie crust in the oven at 375 for 5-10 minutes while you prep everything else.  Then mix tomatoes, basil, garlic, half of the amount of each of the cheeses.  Place in crust.  Add bread crumbs, rest of both cheese to top of pie.  Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes.

Pie crust from scratch: 1 1/2 cups flour, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/2 cup butter, 4-5 tbsp. cold water.  And no, I do not make my crust from scratch.  Although I generally avoid prepared food items, the non-baker in me cannot reconcile the effort that goes into a pie crust that, when completed, tastes the same as a store bought one.  Sorry.  Just comin’ clean.

slice tomato pie

And now, if you’ll excuse me…