Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Pizza to the MAXXX - A Tale of Two Pizzas (part 1)

Let’s be honest, I live in the pizza capitol of the world. Really excellent pizza is never more than a few blocks away. And it’s one of the least expensive New York luxuries. So, it hasn’t much occurred to me to make pizza, and well, my own homemade pizza has never stood up to the pizza parlors.

But, the Baltimore Pizza Blog has been totally inspiring me lately with stories of so many delicious homemade pies. That recent New York Times article just pushed me over the edge. I HAD to make pizza. However, I clearly didn’t take the article to heart, because I convinced myself that I HAD to make pizza that night. I already had ricotta cheese in the fridge and some garlic and spinach, so I picked up some crushed tomatoes and fresh mozzarella. But here’s where I lost my way. I forgot about the tip about just popping into your neighborhood pizza shop and buying a ball of dough and instead picked up one of those weird prepackaged pizza crusts at the fancy-schmancy natural food store. All they had was a whole wheat crust (obviously) but, I figured if it couldn’t be too bad. I was on a mission after all.

In its favor, the crust was totally easy to make. However the flavor and texture was terrible. (I’ve empirically proven that crust is the most important pizza component. Remind me to tell you about my pizza data project the next time you see me.) The sauce I kept simple with just some garlic, salt and pepper. A layer of spinach and basil (from by window herb garden!) Then dollops of ricotta and mozzarella cheese. When it came out of the oven, I drizzled on a bit of olive oil, inspired by Mr. DiFara.

The zza was fine, but nothing to text home about. In fact, Mike and I didn’t finish the pie, or even the leftovers in the fridge. Alas, the crust was just too dense. Pizza lesson: it doesn’t matter how good your sauce and cheese are if the crust is bad. 2/8 slices.

-From Max, of the Baltimore Pizza Club New York Affiliate

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