pizza pizza

28 Apr

Okay, I have a confession to make.  Last night was the first time I have ever made pizza.  I mean, can you blame me?  I live in New York and the idea of staying home and cooking pizza never really occurred to me.  When I’m craving pizza, I usually bop over to my local pizza place, Artichoke and grab a slice (if you haven’t been, it’s a must). When my friend H mentioned to me that she has been making pies lately, I was intrigued and asked her if she would teach me.

Before I get into the recipe (which is pretty easy), I want to take some time to discuss Trader Joes.  I love Trader Joes-it’s inexpensive and all of the employees seem genuinely happy to be stocking the shelves.  It was my store of choice in college.  I dislike, however, the frighteningly long line at the Trader Joes in Union Square.  When H told me we had to go there to get inexpensive dough and pizza sauce, I cringed.  I discovered that it was worth the money for certain items-I’ll break down the cost at the end, but the important lesson I learned about Trader Joes is this: go with a friend. One of you can stand in line while the other shops.

How to make a pizza (as instructed by H):

Preheat oven at 425. Open packet of dough and let breath for about 20 minutes.  Once dough is ready, throw flour on counter top and roll dough out into large square.  The trick here is to flatten the dough out without getting any holes in the crust.  Place dough in cookie sheet (spray cookie sheet with Pam to prevent the dough from sticking) and continue to flatten out so it’s even across whole pan.

For the toppings:

You can pretty much do what you like here.  We kept is simple and used eggplant, mozzarella cheese, and parmesan.  No matter what topping you decide to use, it’s best if you cook it first because it’s not going to cook all the way through in the oven.  For the eggplant, slice it into thin pieces and sauté in olive oil until gold brown.

To build the pizza: Spread even layer of pizza sauce over dough.  Sprinkle thin layer of parmesan. Top with eggplant, thin slices of mozzarella and sprinkle more parm over the whole pie.  Cook in oven for 35 minutes, until top is bubbling and crust is crispy.

Grocery Bill:

  • 1 bag of whole wheat dough $0.99
  • 1 jar pizza sauce $1.89
  • mozzarella $3.29
  • 1 eggplant $1.99
  • ½ container of parmesan $2.50

Grand Total: $10.66

Over budget, I know.  When it comes to shopping at Trader Joes, a few things are great.  Pizza dough and sauce are very inexpensive and worth standing in line for. Other items, mainly produce and cheese, are pricier because they aren’t sold by weight.  Instead you pay per item, no matter how large or small the eggplant.  It’s probably a better idea to go to the farmer’s market or a Whole Foods so you can pick out just the right amount of eggplant and cheese (we had extra) and stay on budget.

Even though we came in over budget, I learned how to make really delicious pizza, and, more importantly, I am not as terrified of Trader Joes as I was before our adventure.

Happy Cooking!

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