Pizza, pizza, and pasta

I have enjoyed whipping up some homemade pizzas the last couple weekends while entertaining friends. I admit, I buy the pizza dough and Jersey and I are at odds to which is the best. I like the dough from Sprouts because it rolls easy AND tastes good. He prefers the dough from the Italian Deli - well - because he’s Italian. Either way, I tried some new toppings with my own personal sauce recipe which we, and the company, all loved. 

My sauce recipe

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, peeled and finely diced
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes with their juice
  • 1/2 of a 1 12-ounce can of tomato paste (key ingredient - keeps it from being to runny making your crust soggy)
  • A handful of basil chopped
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and onion and cook, stirring now and then, until the onion is clear, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and their juice, the tomato paste, basil and the salt. Turn the heat to high and bring to a boil. Turn the heat to low and let the sauce simmer for 40 minutes. Carefully puree in a blender until very smooth. Let it cool before saucing your pizzas. This can be made up to a week ahead and frozen for future use.

Eggs on pizza …

I saw this beautiful picture on a blog where there were eggs over easy on the pizza. I had to try it. I added a conservative amount of sauce, nothing is worse than a runny pizza. I then added some additional fresh torn basil leaves, grated mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses, mushrooms and small sliced cherry tomatoes. I then cracked four eggs on each corner of the pizza. 

I only put tomatoes on 1/2 of this pizza for Jersey, he says they make pizzas runny. 

I baked the pizza on a pizza stone in the oven at 400 for 20 mins, then 2 mins on broil. We like our pizza well done. This cooked the eggs all the way through versus over easy … but it was hit! A MUST TRY.

Have you had eggplant on pizza. NO? YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT YOU’RE MISSING!!! I thinly slice the eggplant, with the skins. Saute it in olive oil over a medium heat - about 2 mins per side. I use the same sauce, mozzarella/Parmesan cheese combination and put enough eggplant to cover it. The one below I added another favorite - dollops of ricotta cheese. Jersey got me hooked on ricotta cheese on pizza. Another must try. 

I made the last two pizzas for Jersey, my brother and his partner. But the real hit was the pasta I made. Yes, I’m full of cheese and carbs but have no regrets I tell you. 

asparagus, goat cheese and lemon pasta

You could eat this hot or cold. I served it hot. IT WAS EXCELLENT!

Serves 6

1 pound spiral-shaped pasta
1 pound slender asparagus spears, trimmed, cut into 1- to 1 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon peel
2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon plus more for garnish (I forgot this and it was still good!)
1 5- to 5 1/2-ounce log soft fresh goat cheese (the pre-crumbled stuff will not melt as well)
Fresh lemon juice to taste (optional)

Cook your pasta in a large pot of well-salted water until it is almost tender, or about three minutes shy of what the package suggests. Add asparagus and cook until firm-tender, another two to three minutes. Drain both pasta and asparagus together, reserving one cup of pasta water.

Meanwhile, combine olive oil, lemon peel, tarragon and cheese in a large bowl, breaking up the goat cheese as you put it in. Add hot pasta slowly (I only used 3/4 of the box!) and asparagus to bowl, along with a couple slashes of the pasta water. Toss until smoothly combined, adding more pasta water if needed. Season genersously with salt and pepper, and lemon juice if you feel it needs a little extra kick.

asparagus goat cheese pasta

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I recently pulled out my Dixie Chicks CDs. Why can’t they make a new album now? Geez … here are some favorites. 

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Goodbye Earl - I love to karaoke this one :)

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Wide Open Spaces

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The Long Way Around - reminds me of my sister & brother

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TOPS!

My new $5 skull scarf from Canal Street.

RUBBISH!

Back to reality … homeward bound today.

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"Be curious, not judgmental." Walt Whitman

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