By Clay Purdy
Making your own pizza is not only easy, it’s fun and tastes as good as any you’ll find in your local pizza restaurant. I’ve found that the easiest way to do it is to buy fresh pizza dough and my favorite, Rao’s marinara, for your tomato sauce. These two purchases eliminate most of the hassle, but of course, you can always make your own dough and sauce if you’re so inclined. Fresh pizza dough and Rao’s sauce are available at Mariano’s or most grocery stores.
What you’ll need: Recipe yields two 12” pizzas
- 13” (approximately) ceramic pizza stone for 12” pizza
- Pizza peel (large wooden or metal spatula)
- Rolling pin
- Fresh pizza dough, 1-pound package (makes two 12” pizzas)
- Rao’s marinara sauce, approximately 1 cup (more if you like lots of sauce)
- Fresh quality mozzarella cheese, sliced (1 – 1.5 pounds)
- Toppings of your choice (pepperoni, cooked Italian sausage, fresh basil, anchovies, fresh garlic, mushrooms)
- Cornmeal, light dusting
Preheat your oven to 425° F with the pizza stone in the oven. The idea is to get the pizza stone nice and hot.
Place a generous amount of flour on your (clean) countertop and coat the dough with flour to prevent sticking to the counter and rolling pin. Roll out one-half of the pizza dough (about a half pound) with your rolling pin to make an approximately 12” pizza.
Spread some cornmeal on your pizza peel to prevent dough from sticking when you slide your pizza on the pizza stone. Place your rolled out pizza dough on the stone and shape it accordingly. Pinch all around the edges to form a ridge that will keep the ingredients in the pizza while it bakes. The ridge doesn’t need to be large.
Spread about one-half cup of your Rao’s sauce evenly on the dough and top with slices of fresh mozzarella. Then add the toppings of your choice. We like carmelized onions and Italian sausage or straight up pepperoni.
Carefully slide your pizza on to your hot stone. Use a spatula if needed to help it along.
Bake for about 20 minutes in the oven until the edges of the crust are golden brown. Remove from the oven using your pizza peel (using a spatula to help it along if necessary). You may want to let it settle for a couple of minutes. Then slice as you like.
Clay Purdy is the president of Canteen Co, a life-long advertising executive and a writer who loves to dabble in the kitchen making everything from pizza to osso bucco.