Coast Cooking

Coast Cooking: A quick good homemade pizza

Pizza is one of my favorite things in the world.

A good crust is essential, whether you want it thick or thin. The sauce is important as well, nothing from a can, but either a quick cooked fresh sauce with lots of herbs, or a longer-cooked ragu style sauce. Use fresh herbs, use some red pepper flakes and stay away from too much dried oregano.

But pizza is all about the cheese. If you are using American cheese product (which isn't cheese), or mass-produced mozzarella or other stringy cheese, then you have missed the mark altogether.

Those cheeses are all about texture, but lack almost any flavor. If you doubt it, do a side-by-side taste test with the real thing. Enough said.

A QUICK AND GOOD HOMEMADE PIZZA

1 cup homemade tomato sauce (see below)

1 loaf locally made crusty French bread

Small bunch fresh basil

1-2 cups roughly chopped Gorgonzola cheese            

Turn your broiler on high. Slice the bread open, remove some of the soft bread if you like, lightly spread on the sauce. Do not over do it. Top with lots of cheese and garnish with basil. Place on a sheet pan and run under the broiler until bubbly, brown and piping hot.

A simple tomato sauce: sauté lots red onions and bell pepper in a little olive oil, take your time. Season with red pepper flakes. Add a little garlic and cook just a moment or two longer. Add 1-2 cans best quality whole tomatoes, 1 cup good quality red wine (something you would enjoy drinking), and simmer for 20 minutes. Taste and season as required. Simmer again for 20 minutes, then add the basil and simmer just 5 minutes more. It will always be better the next day.

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