Somehow, Sunday nights turned into “pizza night.” I don’t know exactly how it started, but I believe a Sunday evening trip to Trader Joe’s so that we’d have food for the upcoming week inspired us to see what we could come up with for dinner that night that would be easy, delicious, and somewhat inexpensive.
Pizza, for me, was never about big, square boxes and 8 triangular slices. As a kid, my mom, the healthiest eater I know, would make her own pizza for us, usually on Friday nights. I know this isn’t unheard of, of course, but while all my friends talked about their Friday night pizza delivery traditions (especially during Lent – I went to Catholic school and everyone at least pretended to follow the “no meat on Fridays” rule.), I’d rival them with the stories of my mom’s pizza with her homemade sauce, very little cheese, and PILES of vegetables on top. Sometimes my mom would make her own dough. Other times, we’d load into the car and drive to a nearby pizzeria to pick up some. (This was the closest to eating “real pizza” that I’d ever come!)
Now, years later, I’ve strayed from the homemade path and eaten maaaany slices of “real pizza.” Some have been amazing, some have not. And, while I’ll go weak at the knees for a slice of eggplant rollatini pizza, or even a corner sicilian slice, the best pizza I eat these days is the kind I make myself.
Back to that fateful day when we decided to make our own pizza. Well, it was SO good that we just can’t stop making it each week. It’s not very complicated, but it’s really good.
Oh, and feel free to add or omit anything you’d like for this. Incorporating your own favorite ingredients is what’ll keep you going back for more!
Sunday Night Personal Pizza
Yield: 1 personal sized pizza
Total Time: 1 hour
For some reason, we found white truffle oil in our cabinet recently, so we’ve been drizzling it sparingly over our pizza ever since instead of olive oil before putting it in the oven. It is quite decadent and delicious, but is by no means necessary for this recipe.
1/2 Trader Joe’s whole wheat pizza dough
3 tbsp. Trader Joe’s pizza sauce (found in refrigerated section, not the jarred kind)
2 cups Trader Joe’s light shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 red onion, sliced thin
2 cloves garlic, minced
extra virgin olive oil
1 bunch fresh basil
red pepper flakes, to taste
First, preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Then, heat a non-stick skillet on medium and cover the bottom with extra virgin olive oil. Once oil is hot (not too hot!), add the onions and 1/4 tsp. salt and stir until translucent, about 3 minutes.
Then, add garlic to the pan, but do not let the garlic get brown or burn. Let the onion/garlic mixture cook for about 10 minutes, or until the onion is very soft.
Now, Spray the bottom of a cookie sheet and flatten out your pizza dough. Sometimes I even sprinkle corn meal on the bottom to create a rustic taste and to also prevent sticking. If you’d like a visible crust, be sure to roll in the edges.
Coat the dough with pizza sauce, add cheese as desired, and spread the onion/garlic on top.
Cut the basil and add on top of pizza. (You can either let the basil cook with the pizza or add it after it’s out of the oven. I personally like it to go on top before-hand.)
Sprinkle red pepper flakes over the top, as desired, in addition to salt, pepper, and a little bit of olive oil (or truffle oil).
Bake pizza in oven at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, or until crust is brown and cheese is melted.
Then, cut the pizza, and serve with a large, cold beer, or some red wine!