My Mom’s Pizza!

January 18th, 2009

My mom’s pizza is the best ever! When I was home for Christmas, I asked her to make it. Delicious! My mom wrote up the recipe for me…so, here you go! Enjoy!

PIZZA (by Ginny’s Mom)

1 pk yeast
1 cup very warm water
½ tsp salt
3 tbsp olive oil
¼ tsp sugar
2 & ½ to 3 cups bread flour

Dissolve yeast in warm water. Stir in salt, sugar, and olive oil. Stir in 2 cups of flour and knead in the rest. ( I just knead it directly in the bowl). Cover dough and allow to rise in a warm place until double. Punch dough down and divide into 2 portions. Roll out on a floured surface. ( I use wax paper that I put flour on and flour the rolling pin.)

If you have a baking stone then put it on the lowest rack of the oven and preheat to 500. Otherwise, use a pizza pan and the oven temperature should be 450. Pizza in a pan should also be baked on the lowest rack. This helps the crust get crispy on the bottom. Pizza bakes in 8-10 minutes.

I use Don Pepino canned pizza sauce but add chopped fresh rosemary to it. I roll the dough and then transfer it directly to the stone. Put a few spoonfuls of olive oil on the dough and spread it around. Then add the sauce and top with grated mozzarella and a sprinkle of grated romano or parmesan.
For “white” pizza. I crush a few garlic cloves in about 3 tablespoonfuls of olive oil. Then spread that on the dough and top with a mixture of mozzarella, crumbled feta , and romano or paremsan cheeses.

That’s a spicy..

April 10th, 2008

No, there are no meatballs in this post just a spicy pasta sauce. I used to hate spicy food…I would avoid it as much as possible. But as I’ve gotten older, I have begun to let go of my childhood food prejudices…I make lemon cake, eat cheesecake, love peanut butter and explore spicy recipes. One of my favorite new things is to add some crushed red pepper to the olive oil when sautéing pretty much everything (unless I am cooking for my roommates because they are still not into the spicy). It adds such a great kick to a dish.

This pasta sauce was created tonight by throwing things from the pantry together, as I am trying my best to stay within my food budget. Recently, there was an article in the New York Times entitled “5 Cooks, $40, 5 Dishes, 3 Desserts” in which the famous Chef Eric Ripert and his crew of chefs were asked to make a meal with a limited budget and items from a dollar store. I would be very interested to see what yall think about what they made. I was not blown away with their ideas although the nougat intrigued me. Many of us often find ourselves limited by a budget and I think we could come up with some great ideas to rival Chef Ripet. I have been playing with the idea of turning this into a blogging event, even though I am such an infant blogger, because I think it would be fun to challenge oneself in this way. I have been trying to think of the parameters so any advice would be welcome.

I’m sending this Spicy Quick Pasta Sauce over to Ruth’s Presto Pasta Night. Check it out for some great new ideas!.

Ginny’s Spicy Quick Pasta Sauce

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 can chopped tomatoes
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
salt and pepper, to taste

1. Heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat in a frying pan.
2. Cooking red pepper until sizzling.
3. Sauté onion and garlic until onions are translucent. If garlic starts to burn, turn down the heat.
4. Add the tomatoes and Italian seasoning.
5. Cook for about 10 minutes until liquid has evaporated.

P.S. Want to jazz up the sauce? You may notice many of my meals have no meat. When you cook for yourself, it is often easier to go the vegetarian route. Some chicken or shrimp would go very well with this recipe so feel free to add to it. Also, add other vegetables if you would like…mushrooms, zucchini, eggplant…just sauté them with the onions. Yummy quick sauce!

Another Quick Dinner and Some Sage Advice…

February 28th, 2008


I have another confession. I love butternut squash. I can’t get enough of it. I am always looking for new, interesting and delicious ways to prepare butternut squash. One of my greatest successes but also failures was my butternut squash ravioli. Please, ask my family about that story and they will crack up!

A couple years ago, I decided I was going to make dinner for my family. I had this recipe in mind for butternut squash ravioli that filled wonton wrappers with a goat cheese butternut squash mixture. It sounded divine! I figured it would be fairly easy to make but I was very very wrong. I am a naturally messy cook but this was a disaster. Filling and wonton wrappers were everywhere. But I finally made a small bowl of butternut squash ravioli, which I put on my nicely set table and called my family to dinner. My sister, brother and parents each served themselves a couple (about 3) ravioli. They loved them but then asked “What is for dinner?” Yes, I kind of misjudged the quantity needed to feed a family of five. I will never live down that kitchen adventure but at least the ravioli tasted good!

I keep noticing Ruth‘s Presto Pasta Night but have never gotten my act together to add one to the roundup. For its first birthday, I decided to enter this dish. The original recipe came from a New York Times article encouraging the reader to eat more vegetables with less pasta. I cannot promise that we always do that but the pasta sauce is delicious. I added sage because butternut squash and sage are the perfect pair. Check out the round-up for other pasta dishes at Once Upon A Feast.

Pasta with Butternut Squash and Tomatoes
(adapted from NY Times)

Salt and pepper
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, chopped or pressed
1 shallot, sliced
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
1 tablespoon sage, chopped
1 can (14.5 ounces) chopped tomatoes
1 pound peeled, pre-cut butternut squash (I love the already cut up squash you can buy at the store, it is worth the extra expense for me not to have to risk a digit cutting up the squash)

1/2 pound cut pasta, like ziti or penne

Freshly chopped parsley or Parmesan for garnish.

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it.

2. Put olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, shallots, sage and pepper flakes and cook for about a minute.

3. Add tomatoes and squash, and cook with some salt and pepper.

4. When squash is tender — about 15 minutes — cook pasta until it is tender. Combine sauce and pasta, and serve, garnished with parsley or Parmesan.

P.S. Some more sage advice…One of my favorite dishes to make is a simple brown butter sauce with sage over ravioli or tortellini. Take about 3 tablespoons of butter and heat over medium heat until it begins to melt and bubble. Take about 5 leaves of sage (I like to dice them) and put in the melting butter. Cook until the butter begin to brown. Pour over some ravioli, sprinkle with Parmesan and eat! yummy!