Hello everyone! As if anyone needs a reason to eat pie, this week is PI Week! That’s right 3/14 is national pi day and most people celebrate it with a sweet fruit or custard filled pastry. Not this guy. I made pizza pies from Back to Basics. These aren’t your typical pizzas, no tomato sauce needed. These are white pizzas (white from the plethora of cheese) and topped with a lemony dressed arugula salad. These might sound fancy and difficult to make, but once you get passed the idea of making the dough, it’s completely a breeze. To be honest, pizza dough might just be the easiest thing to make and you really can’t mess it up. The most important part is to make sure the water you use for the yeast isn’t too hot. Yeast is a live organism. So it needs water and sugar to activate. The yeast gives off gas which makes the dough rise. If you use water that is boiling hot, you’ll kill the yeast and your dough will be like flat hockey pucks. I always just use warm tap water and have never had any issues with my dough rising.

Silky smooth dough

Through this recipe, I’ve learned that garlic and herb infused olive oil is everything. Basically, it’s just heating olive oil

Flavorful EVOO

over low heat and lightly cooking some garlic, thyme (I cheated and used dried), and red pepper flakes. The oil is then perfumed with the flavors of the garlic and herbs and omg, if I were to make this again, I’d sub out the plain olive oil in the pizza dough for this just to add more flavor. I definitely think that I’ll make more to keep on hand. It’s great to fry up eggs in or really whatever you cook because it adds so much flavor.

 

 

 

 

When thinking of pairing a wine to go with this pizza, I had to go for a rose. There is nothing that screams summer more

Rose for days

than a chilled rose and the crisp, fruity flavors lend itself well with the flavors of pizza. I am in love with Winc’s Local Flavor Rose. Their Local Flavor brand that Winc carries donates a portion of it’s earnings to the nonprofit group, Venice Arts.  They reach out to the low-income youth of LA to provide them with education in film and photography. It’s a very cool organization and the wine is top-notch. It is a mix of four different grape varaities so the flavor is very complex and has a lot of fruit flavor and crisp lemony notes which pair really well with the arugula salad on top of the pizza. If you want to give Winc a try and stock up on some great wines, sign up through my link and get a discount on your first order: https://hi.winc.com/2lhy61q4ll7.

Of course I had to make a dessert, I was really feeling it this week, why not? To keep with the Italian theme of the pizza, I decided to make Ina’s Affogato from Back to Basics. Affogato is ice cream drenched in espresso, I mean, sounds like a winner to me! I searched the local stores for plain vanilla ice cream, but seriously couldn’t find any (what’s up with that?). So I decided I’d make a creative version and use Ben & Jerry’s new flavor Urban Bourbon. It’s caramel ice cream with bourbon caramel swirls and chocolate chips in it. Sounded great to me!

For the coffee part of the recipe, I used my Nespresso to brew a pod of espresso to pour over. If you don’t have espresso, make some of your favorite coffee or if you have some left over from breakfast, reheat it and pour over. The key is that the coffee needs to be hot. It helps melt the ice cream which makes it so, so good. I added some chocolate chips on top because you can never have too much chocolate. If you want to take this to the next level, try the Telenti brand gelato. It’s fantastic and adds extra richness to the dessert. Just don’t eat this before bed because the espresso will give you a nice blast of energy for a few hours. This is definitely an early afternoon pick-me-up.

 

For these recipes, I recommend using the following: 

 

Print Recipe
White Pizzas with Arugula
From Back to Basics by Ina Garten page 82
Course Lunch, Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15-16 minutes
Passive Time 30 minutes
Servings
pizzas
Ingredients
Course Lunch, Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15-16 minutes
Passive Time 30 minutes
Servings
pizzas
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Mix the dough: Combine the water, yeast, honey and 3 tablespoons of olive oil in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. When the yeast is dissolved, add 3 cups of flour, then 2 teaspoons salt, and mix on medium-low speed. While mixing, add up to 1 more cup of flour, or just enough to make a soft dough. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes until smooth, sprinkling it with the flour as necessary to keep it from sticking to the bowl.
  2. Knead by hand: When the dough is ready, turn it out onto a floured board and knead it by hand a dozen times. It should be smooth and elastic.
  3. Let it rise: Place the dough in a well-oiled bowl and turn it to cover it lightly with oil. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and allow the dough to rise at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  4. Make garlic oil: Place 1/2 cup of olive oil, the garlic, thyme and red pepper flakes in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over low heat. Cook for 10 minutes, making sure the garlic doesn't burn. Set aside.
  5. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  6. Portion the dough: Dump the dough onto a board and divide it into 6 equal pieces. Place the doughs on sheet pans lined with parchment paper and cover them with a damp towel. Allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes. Use immediately, or refrigerate for up to 4 hours.
  7. Stretch the dough: Press and stretch each ball into an 8-inch circle and place 2 circles on each sheet pan lined with parchment paper. (If you've chilled the dough, take it out of the refrigerator approximately 30 minutes ahead to let it come to room temperature.)
  8. Top the dough: Brush the pizzas with the garlic oil, and sprinkle each one liberally with salt and pepper.Drizzle each pizza with 1 tablespoon more of the garlic oil and bake for 7 to 8 minutes, to let the crusts pre-bake. Sprinkle the pizzas evenly with fontina, mozzarella and goat cheese and continue baking for 7 to 8 more minutes until the crusts are crisp and the cheeses begin to brown.
  9. Make the vinaigrette: Meanwhile, whisk together 1/2 cup of garlic olive oil, the lemon juice, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
  10. Add the greens: When the pizzas are done, place the arugula in a large bowl and toss with just enough lemon vinaigrette to moisten. Place a large bunch of arugula on each pizza and a slice of lemon and serve immediately.
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Print Recipe
Affogato Sundaes
From Back to Basics by Ina Garten page 217
Prep Time 5 minutes
Servings
sundae
Ingredients
Prep Time 5 minutes
Servings
sundae
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Place two scoops of gelato or ice cream in a bowl or cup. Top with chocolate chips. Pour hot espresso or about 1/4 cup of hot coffee over the ice cream and serve immediately.
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