It’s Mark. Katherine and I love cooking food, and we love eating what we cook even more. Trying to cook delicious, healthy food on a budget is pretty tough, though. What’s helped the most is learning how to reuse things we used to throw out, like bones/carcass, pasta noodle water, and vegetable ends/roots.
All that is great, and having those skills can help you round out your weekly meal plan into a robust and exciting course. That said, there is a staple we can always fall back on, a hero of the food world, one that everybody knows and loves: pizza.
Oh, yes, pizza is delicious, extremely cheap and can be very healthy. That hits all my bases! If you don’t make your own dough, that’s ok; it’s easy to find at your local grocer and is relatively cheap. Nowhere near as cheap as making your own, however.
The beauty of pizza is the near unlimited variance in saucing, crust style, and toppings. We typically use pizza as a one day carry over meal. We always have flour, yeast, sugar, salt, water, and olive oil, so dough is never an issue. Normally we have tomato sauce or paste, but olive oil is another easy option for a sauce as you’ll see farther down. Toppings are up to you, mushrooms, peppers, sliced tomatoes, pepperoni, bacon, chicken, beef, olives(ugh- I say; Kat says, “Yum!”(Kat had to write that for herself because I refuse).), etc.
Make what you like, experiment, use the veggies you have; the world is full of possibilities, except that all of the pineapples and sardines are gone because that’s not a pizza, that’s BS.
Step one: slice roma tomatoes thick as you like, but save as much juice as possible! It’s best to slice them into a big bowl, which you’ll need later anyways.
After slicing, season lightly with salt and, if you like, pepper. The salt with help soak up the wetness of the tomato so you don’t have soggy crust. Then, drizzle with olive oil (Kat likes a little more oil than me). A light coating of oil and tomato juice is plenty for your dough, so don’t overdo the oil. Add freshly minced garlic cloves (AS MUCH GARLIC AS YOU LIKE – Kat), or these dehydrated garlic cloves work just as well as the real thing when introduced to moisture. Let all of these delicious elements soak together for about 20 minutes.
The delicious juice from the tomatoes, infused with garlic, salt, pepper, and olive oil, makes your sauce.
As you pour the juice onto the dough, hold the tomatoes back with a spoon, which you can then use to spread the juice around the pizza.
Fresh basil leaves, I’m afraid, is all that will do. Dried basil will not have the same effect. Spread generously.
A bottom layer of mozzarella holds everything together. If you like, provolone in the middle, or a cheese of your choice. Tomatoes on top of the bottom layer of cheese(s), any other toppings you like, topped with another solid layer of mozzarella, bake at 425-450, 14-19 minutes. This is a veggie pizza, but I have made the same thing with ground chicken, and it is fantastic. I would suggest lightly frying the chicken before topping and baking to aid with crunchiness.
Mmmm. I’m weird, so I organize toppings to allow the standard cross cut with minimized obstruction of toppings. It would look more picturesque if I wasn’t crazy, but, I had to cut this pizza, so I’m strategically organizing the topping layout.
Hope you enjoy this recipe! Let me know if you have any cool twists or ideas on it. Pizza is so malleable and great. I feel like, if people had to be a food, we should be pizza.