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Italian Pizza with Tomatoes, Pepperoni, Olives and Basil



Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
Servings: 8

Before my first trip to Italy, I truly believed in two things when it comes to making pizza. First was that, my pizza making skills were at par with classic Italian pizza makers. And second, that there was no other ways to organically enhance the flavors of an Italian style pizza.

Oh how I was proven wrong.

In all my years in the culinary industry, none can rival the impact it has had on my cooking and how I see life, as that fateful visit to that quaint, family owned pizzeria in a small town somewhere in Italy.

And now, let me share it with you.

Your ingredients:

1 tbsp yellow cornmeal

2 pizza dough (if it’s homemade, the better)

1 and 1 third cup of grated pasteurized mozzarella

2 Roma tomatoes cut in 1/4 inch crosswise slices

1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 tbsp of cumin

1 large clove of garlic, minced

6 fresh Italian basil leaves, and a few more for garnish

1/2 teaspoon of salt

Pizza Dough (If you want to make it at home)

1/2 cup of warm water (By warm I mean around 105° to 110°F

2 teaspoons of dry yeast

1 and 1 third cup of grated pasteurized mozzarella

2 cups of all purpose flour

1 teaspoon of salt

3 tablespoons of olive oil

Making the pizza dough

Mix the warm water and yeast in a small bowl to blend. Let stand until the yeast dissolves, about 5 minutes.

Add the yeast into a bowl of warm water. Set the bowl aside and allow the yeast to dissolve. This should take around 5 minutes.

Using a baking mixer, mix your salt and flour together. Add the oil afterwards.

With the baking mixer on, add the dissolved yeast into the mixture and wait until a dough like consistency is achieved.

Put flour on a flat surface and knead your dough until it becomes smooth. Be careful not to over knead the dough. One minute of kneading is usually enough.

Take a large bowl, coat it with oil and transfer the dough in it. Also coat the dough with oil and cover the entire bowl with a plastic wrap. Leave the bowl in a warm area for at least an hour to let the dough rise.

Once the dough has at least doubled its size, punch it down and divide it into two.

You now have your homemade pizza dough.

Preparing and cooking your Italian pizza

Place one of your oven racks in the center, with the other rack at the bottom of your oven. Preheat your oven to 450°F.

Get a couple of baking sheets.

Get your pizza dough, shape it into a 10 inch semi circle and transfer it into your baking sheet.

Give the each dough a good drizzle of olive oil.

Get your mozzarella and sprinkle it around your pizza dough.

Arrange your tomato slices and add a generous amount of Parmesan.

Add your Italian basil leaves and garlic, and a good splash of olive oil.

Put your pizza into the oven and bake it until the dough is brown and crisp. This should take around 15 minutes.

Once out of the oven, garnish it with fresh Italian basil, and serve it hot.



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