Sunday, February 7, 2010

Back to the Roots of Pizza

With Super Bowl snacks still weighing heavy--It's time to forget those take out pizzas and get back to the real thing--Pure. Simple. Italian. The original pizza--Neapolitan Style.

So while Capri Flavors Chef Titina continues to recuperated from her recent surgery, here's a classic recipe from her cooking class collection.

If you've never made a yeast dough, don't let that stop you. Titina's crust is easy enough for a beginner. The dough comes together at the start of class and rises on the counter while students prepare other dishes. It's not fussy. And kneading is fun. Use it to take out your frustrations.

Titina uses a rectangular pan. Her crust is soft and not too thin.

A note about Titina's recovery. She's making very good progress, but her surgery was less than a month ago, and it's still too soon to tell when classes will resume. Titina wants to come back ASAP, but she wants to come back at full speed. So if you're holding gift cards, please be patient a little longer. We'll let you know as soon as classes are rescheduled. And thanks for your understanding.

Pizza Margherita
For the Dough:
1 envelope of drive active yeast (not rapid rise)
1 and 1/2 cups Farina (Italian flour) or all purpose flour
1 pinch of sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 TBS extra virgin olive oil
For the topping
1/2 bunch of fresh basil
5 oz fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
2 TBS grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
1 can whole peeled tomatoes
4 TBS olive oil
Salt and ground pepper

For the pizza dough: In a small bowl mix the yeast and the sugar, 2 TBS lukewarm water, olive oil and 2 TBS of flour. Allow starter to rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.

On a work surface, pour the rest of the flour and make a well in the middle. Add the starter to the flour and sprinkle with the salt. Gradually adding 1 cup of lukewarm water, knead to a smooth and silky dough. Knead vigorously and occasionally beat the dough onto the work surface. Sprinkle some extra flour if necessary. Shape the dough into a loaf, place in a large bowl, cover with dishcloth and let it rise for at least one hour or until doubled in size. The dough also needs to be soft.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Brush a pizza pan with 1 TBS of olive oil. Vigorously knead the dough one more time. Roll it out and place on the pan. by hand finish stretching the dough by pressing it into the pan, leaving it thicker around the rim.

Drain the canned tomatoes and set the juice aside. Slice the tomatoes, distribute them evenly on top of the pizza and crush them lightly with a fork. Leave a 1 inch wide rim around the walls of the pan. Layer the sliced mozzarella over the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper.

Place the pizza on the lowest rack in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the pizza and sprinkle it with grated cheese and fresh basil. Drizzle with olive oil return to oven on the middle rack and bake 10 more minutes. Serve hot.


  1. When everything is coming your way, you are in the wrong lane.............................................

  2. This was my Grandma's favorite pizza. It was one of the 1st things I leaned to make with her help when I was about 5 or 6 years old.