This is my very first cooking contest entry in my life! Since I’m a homemaker, I try to find quick and easy, healthy, tasty, low sodium, low-fat, appealing to the nose and eyes recipes. Whenever I can’t find one, I tweak or come up with an original. This pizza recipe is as simple as they come and always a winner in my home. My husband and stepson love it when it comes out of the oven and gets into their mouths! The fresh mozzarella is the key to bringing out a lot of natural flavors!
Pre-made dough from the grocery store is a huge winner for us, but I prefer whole wheat or non-enriched flour if available; and gluten-free is hard to find but healthier if you have it.
2 Tbsp olive oil
2-3 oz of no-salt-added plain tomato sauce (to be used sparingly to not create a watery base but to help mix the ingredients together for spreading)
2 tsp fresh, chopped or dried basil (is what I use if my basil doesn’t look great in my garden)
1 tsp fresh, chopped or dried parsley (what I use)
1-2 Tbsp grated Parmesan (fresh from the deli is what I use)
1/2 tsp fresh cracked black peppercorns
2 Tbsp fresh or jarred minced garlic (if jarred, drain well)
2 tsp hot pepper flakes – optional
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp garlic powder
16 oz of fresh mozzarella cheese (sliced lengthwise or sliced in round O’s is fine for coverage)
1/2 med onion diced (food processor is a huge time saver)
1/2 any medium pepper ( green or red is preferred in our home)
1 Tbsp fresh, chopped or dried parsley
A few grinds of fresh cracked black peppercorns over top
1 oz of black olives whole or sliced, but pitted
1 Tbsp of whole sun dried tomatoes (I use jarred. Pat dry from extra olive oil drippings)
Preheat oven at 475 degrees F.
Prepare pan with a thin layer of (wheat) flour.
Prepare dough for sauce; roll it out evenly with only a small knot of dough to crust on the ends to curl over top to cover a 12-14″ pizza pie pan or stone. Use Extra Virgin Olive Oil for a coating of the ends over top.
Prepare sauce: Mix all dry (with exception of grated cheese) and wet contents separately then mix together. Spread sauce over the the dough as thinly as possible, leaving nothing without at least a thin moist layer. Sprinkle the grated cheese over the sauce. Layer with a single slice of mozzarella over pizza sauce. Prep the pizza topping by mixing all ingredients together. You may use the food processor to dice all the veggies at the same time and add the herbs after in the mix. By hand, sprinkle a single layer of the vegetables on the pizza, and then grind the peppercorn over top a few grinds, just for a little more seasoning.
Bake for approximately 15-20 minutes or until desired crust on the bottom. Watch the oiled crust from browning too quickly before the rest of pizza crust is baked through. In testing, you may want to use a spray oil to eliminate the need for over use and excessive/premature browning.
It can be enjoyed with a favorite Chardonnay or even a smooth Merlot. Enjoy! Eat up!