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Chef Patti Anastasia
Serving Southern New Hampshire since 2003
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Table Talk » Pizza Night
My mom made pizza every Friday night and still does. Some of my earliest cooking memories are helping her make pizza. When I got home from school, she would let me help her make the dough. After the dough had risen, I'd help her form the pizzas and bake them. I loved punching down the dough! Pizza that you make yourself always tastes wonderful.
These days, I use Eating Well's Whole Wheat Pizza Dough recipe for my dough. It goes together very quickly in the food processor, uses a 50/50 mix of whole wheat and all-purpose flour, and is ready to use in 20 minutes because it uses quick-rising yeast. This dough is also easy to roll out. I roll it onto parchment paper then place the parchment paper on my pizza stone.
My mom's pizza hails from before I was born. Her dough recipe comes from a Fleischmann's cookbook, but her toppings come from a bar and grill in Malden, MA that my parents frequented when they lived in Everett, MA. In 1959, when my family moved to Peabody, MA, my mom asked the pizza guy if he would share his secrets because she loved his pizza. She's been making his pizza every since. One of the surprising things is the sauce. It is simply Pastene ground peeled tomatoes. Pure tomatoes, nothing else. His cheese was a mixture of cheddar and mozzarella, but my mom switched to all cheddar after consulting with my dad's cousin Rose, who owned a pizza parlor in Falmouth, MA.
Although I don't use my mom's dough recipe, I do use Pastene ground peeled tomatoes for the sauce. Just spread them lightly over the rolled out dough. Not too much sauce. At Christmas, a friend gave me some fair trade Sonoran oregano from the Seri Indians. I've reserved this oregano for my pizzas. So, I crumble some of the Sonoran oregano on top of the sauce. Then spread grated cheddar cheese over the pizza. I sometimes add other cheeses, like parmesan or provolone. My husband Tom loves sausage pizza, so that is what we usually have. He grew up on pizza from Stan's Chitch's Cafe in Bound Brook, NJ. What's different about Chitch's sausage pizza is that the sausage is ground and covers the entire pie. When we visit Tom's family in NJ, we always go to Chitch's for pizza. If you like thin-crust pizza, it is the best that there is. For our pizzas, I bake hot Italian chicken sausages and then grind them in the food processor. I sprinkle a bit more of the oregano over the top of the sausage.
I don't have time to make my mom's pizza dough, but with the Eating Well dough recipe, it is easy to keep our family tradition of homemade pizza.
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Marcy said… (on June 10, 2007 at 17:29 PM #)
Oh - I wish I could eat the picture!!! That looks amazing! Really nice story too. :)
Looks great, i really like the idea of whole wheat pizza, will try it soon:-)
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