Pizza with Saucí Romesco

Mick Follari

Yield: 4 servings

Time: 10-45 minutes depending on topping and sauce prep)

Home-made pizza is a wonderful treat, fun for everyone, and infinitely variable with delicious toppings. Saucí Romesco adds some depth and flavor to the sauce, the toppings are up to you!

Making pizza at home is awesome fun, and way more delicious than most take-out. Whether you make your own dough (even more fun) or buy some fresh dough from the super market or a local pizza shop, it’s still going to beat the take-outs, and give everyone in the family a chance to make their own.

Saucí Romesco is a nice addition to a pizza, adding some smokiness and extra garlic flavor to the sauce. I often spoon on a little of both a simple tomato sauce and some Romesco together, but I’ve made it with only Romesco too.

Some favorite toppings with the Romesco (not all at once): caramelized onions, breakfast sausage, anchovies, blue cheese, fresh mozzarella, goat cheese, scallions, prosciutto, and more. But a simple pizza of Romesco sauce, one or two toppings, fresh mozzarella and some Parmesean will shake things up and taste delicious.

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 lbs fresh/frozen pizza dough. (Homemade encouraged!)
  • Tomato sauce. Either high-quality store-bought marinara or make a simple one
  • 2 8oz balls of fresh mozzarella, sliced into very thin discs
  • Shredded Parmesean cheese
  • a cup of fresh basil leaves, torn
  • Toppings of your choice (recommend caramelized onions and sausage as a start)
  • 2-3 tbsp Saucí Romesco per pizza
  • coarse cornmeal or polenta (for sliding off the pizza peel)

Simple Tomato Sauce

  • 1 can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt

Preparation:

  • It make a big difference in my opinion, to have a pizza stone. I have two, one on the bottom and one on the rack in the oven and I leave them in there all the time. If you don’t have them, a good cookie sheet can work, but it cooks differently so watch that you don’t burn the bottom of the crust.
  • It also helps to have a pizza peel, I have two so I can be making the next pizza while I’m getting the last one(s) out. Wood is best. If you’re using a cookie sheet this might not matter as much.

Tomato Sauce (if not store-bought):

  1. Heat about 2 tbsp olive oil in a large pan, medium heat.
  2. Add the garlic, saute for about a minute, do not burn.
  3. Add the canned tomatoes and some more olive oil.
  4. Stir and cook for 10min or so.
  5. Add about 2 tsp salt or to taste and stir in.

Pizza Time!

  1. Buy or make some pizza dough. When I make it, I like to do it the night before, and I always ‘double-rise’ it (punch it down after a couple hours then let it rise again). Home made pizza that is frozen will also rise again on defrosting. All this helps you get an light crust with nice ‘crust-bubbles’.
  2. Prepare your toppings, organize them for easy work. Caramelizing onions properly takes an hour or two. Make the sauce (if not store-bought). See below.
  3. Turn your oven up to 550 deg.
  4. Sprinkle some flour out on a cutting board. Take about a 1/2lb ball of dough, drop it in the center and punch it down to form a flat disc. I often flip it over and punch both sides a few times.
  5. Pick it up and hold it like a steering wheel, grabbing the edge and let it hang under its own weight, while moving it hand over hand around and around letting it stretch out. You can get your fists under it and pull them apart and toss it in a spinning throw if you want, or drop it onto the cutting board and roll it out with a rolling pin. Keep rolling it out until it is 1/2″ thick or so, you may need to flip it over a few times and sprinkle flour to keep it from sticking.
  6. Sprinkle some corn meal or polenta onto the pizza peel (the ball bearings) then gentlyy lay your pizza dough on it.
  7. Spread some tomato sauce with a spoon in circles, very thin, then spoon some Saucí Romesco on and spread that around.
  8. Add your toppings- sprinkle some sausage around, tear some basil leaves and sprinkle around. Lay out the sliced fresh mozzarella, then drop some caramelized onion around. Sprinkle Parmesean cheese on top.
  9. With confidence and authority, slide your pizza onto the stone.
  10. Watch for some nice bubbling, and brown spots on your cheese. The crust should have a slight golden color on the top. You may want to carefully grab the crust edge and rotate it a little halfway through depending on your oven so it can even out. The real test is a careful quick peek under the crust to see that it is just blackening slightly but not burned or under-done. At 550 deg it shoudl take about 5-8min.
  11. Using the peel, confidently slip it under the pie and deliver it to a cutting board. Let it rest for a few minutes, cut it up and keep going!