Pizza night has become a weekly event at my house. Over the years we have acquired a pizza stone and peel, so I am able to make my own version of a classic, pizzeria-style pie at home. I haven’t tried making my own dough for a while though, since I can buy fresh dough at the grocery store for $1.09.
My ideal pizza is a cross between one that I used to get at Pizzeria Paradiso in Washington, DC (the Bosco, swapping prosciutto for the spinach) and one I get whenever I eat at Silvio’s Organic Pizza here in Ann Arbor (the Truffle). It includes red onion, porcini mushrooms, prosciutto and smoked mozzarella. I make my own sauce, using tomato paste, olive oil, water and granulated garlic. The sweetness of the tomato paste combines well with the fruitiness of the olive oil to make a good base layer. The red onion provides additional sweetness. Prosciutto gives a hint of salt. The essence of smoke that comes from the mozzarella is subtle, but it is essential to the complete flavor. Finally, the porcini mushrooms add the umami that I accentuate with a drizzle of truffle oil after I remove the pizza from the oven.
Earlier in the afternoon, I had baked sugar cookies. I followed the recipe that my Mom always used and cut out relatively small (~1.5 inch) rounds. The decoration was the new twist. Instead of vanilla icing, I spread Nutella between two of the paired circles and made them into sandwich cookies. The finishing touch was a dusting of confectioner’s sugar over the top. The sticky texture of the chocolate-hazelnut spread is a perfect counterbalance to the crunchiness of the cookies. The sugar on top almost seems a bit frivolous, but it does make them look pretty, doesn’t it?