I love pizza. I am not sure where my love for this food comes from. As a teenager, I remember Friday night was generally pizza night but this was because we were a busy rushed family heading to football games. We were a family of two girls, but when you are on the dance team your Friday nights are just as busy. And what father would complain when the game he sat through to see his girls perform at halftime just happened to have the Barber twins playing for the same team.
Pizza night in high school was take out and it was around the time the “lovers line” became popular. Well in my mind pizza has come a long way since then. I grew up in the south, so I know a lot of naysayers will claim I know nothing about pizza, but in my mind I do.
What you like when it comes to food is personal and when it comes to pizza, I like flavor. So whether it is traditional New York Style pizza, Deep Dish Chicago style, brick oven, or a flatbread if the flavor is there I enjoy it.
Today’s post is not a unique pizza but the type of pizza I make if we want a traditional flavor pizza. So often you think homemade pizza takes forever, and yes it can. If you make your own dough, you have to plan ahead. If you make your own sauce, you have to plan and make it ahead, but this is your quick and easy homemade as in put the toppings on, make it what you want, and cook it at home.
This pizza takes a little bit of preparation as you cannot walk in from an afternoon of activities and have it on the table in 30 minutes, unless you plan ahead. When I say plan ahead you need to have your dough room temperature for best results. The Trader Joe dough recommends sitting out for 30 minutes. I also find having a hot oven and pizza stone help ensure the crust cooks evenly.
Jamey’s Better than Take Out Traditional Pizza
1 recipe pizza dough (I like Trader Joe’s pizza dough – you roll your own)
1 cup Marinara Sauce**
8 oz Mushrooms, washed, sliced
1/2 Red Pepper, chopped
1/2 Green Pepper, chopped
1/4 cup onion, chopped
2 cups Spinach
1/2 cup fresh pineapple, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups cheese, mozzarella (Occasionally I use a combination of any of the following: Mozzarella, fontina, parmesan, and cheddar)
20 slices pepperoni (optional)*
Preparing the Pizza Dough
Allow dough to sit out for at least 30 minutes to become room temperature. This will make rolling the dough out easier. I did not say it would roll into a perfect circle as that takes skill which I don’t focus on, I just roll and go. Preheat oven to 425 degrees and allow to heat for 30 minutes with pizza stone. Remove hot pizza stone from oven and pour 1 Tbsp olive oil over the stone. Spread it around if you want or the quick and easy way just toss the dough on top. I always try and roll a little more once the dough is on the stone to thin it out and reach the edges of my stone.
Place pizza stone with dough in oven for about 8-10 minutes to pre bake.
Preparing the Toppings
Assembling the Pizza
Remove the pre baked pizza dough from the oven and spread the marinara sauce over top. Spread your sautéed vegetables, pineapple, and pepperoni evenly over the marinara. Top with cheese. Return to the 425 degree oven and bake for 10-15 minutes or until cheese melts and begins to bubble and brown. Slice and enjoy.
* perfect Meatless Monday recipe if the pepperoni is omitted