Tuesday, June 29, 2010 at 8:57PM
Aside from a barbecue here and a locavore party there (and here too), I really don't entertain anywhere near as much as I'd like to. This is something that I'm always trying to work on, but there always seems to be more to do either to get the house ready for guests (fun summer repairs needed to the deck) or things to do outside of the house. I decided recently to take a step forward and just invite some family over and let the chips fall where they may.
From this little flash of determination, I got a locavore pizza party! The plan had been to experiment with pizza on the grill. Some iffy weather nipped that one in the bud, but some creative seating around the kitchen counter made for a cozy (ish) lunch indoors.
The change in seating also resulted in a change in pizza plans since I'd originally planned on doing three large pizzas for four people. (Yes, I realize the math is fairly ridiculous - I was raised to cook for an army when feeding a small family!) Ultimately, I made two: The first, a locavore pizza with DiPaolo turkey sausage, Valley Shepherd ricotta salata, garden herbs and hothouse Phillips Farm tomatoes and arugula; the second, a simple fresh mozzarella pizza with pepperoni all courtesy of Trader Joe's. The crust also came from TJ's, I'm afraid, although I have my sights set on the dough from scratch project. That's for another weekend.
All in all, the pizzas ended up great because of the great ingredients, but also from the great company (and a little bubbly on the side never hurts!). Next time, we'll hit the grill!
- 1 ball pizza dough (try Trader Joe's or your local pizzeria)
- 1-2 medium hothouse local tomatoes
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
- 1/4 cup olive oil plus 2 tbsp
- 1 small handful fresh Italian basil, roughly chopped
- 1/3 lb ground Italian spicy turkey sausage
- 2 cups arugula
- 4 ounces ricotta salata, crumbled
- 3 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Sea salt and pepper to taste
- Place pizza stone in oven (if you don't keep it there regularly). Preheat oven to 500F.
- Chop tomatoes and add to bowl with garlic, 1/4 cup olive oil, basil, salt and pepper to taste.
- On a lightly floured surface, stretch out pizza dough. Brush dough with remaining oil. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper.
- Top with tomato mixture, arugula and ricotta salata. Sprinkle parmesan on top.
- Place in oven and cook for about 15 minutes until crust is golden brown. Enjoy!