WORLD'S BEST VEGETARIAN PIZZA

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This recipe is courtesy of Chef Don Ramsey, who learned Italian cooking from a close friend who owned an Italian restaurant in Del Mar, California, called, "Pasta, Pasta, Pasta".

You see, the thing is for me when it comes to pizza, is the crust. It is what totally makes or breaks a pizza. Sure, the sauce and toppings also have a big role to play, but if the crust isn’t right, then the whole experience is sort of lost in the translation.

When I have pizza, I DEMAND a crust that’s nice and chewy, thick but not too thick, dense but soft and pliable at the same time, crispy and tasty, just like a good bread, with LOTS of nice large bubbles in it. And with a strong smell of fresh bread and of yeast.

Up until recently, I thought there was no way one could ever achieve such results at home simply because our ovens don’t get nearly hot enough.

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That was until I discovered the magical par baked pizza crust made by Rêver Artisan Bakery. They use what is known as a pizza stone! They place one of these babies in the oven to preheat for about an hour before they par bake your pizza crust, so it has a chance to get really, really hot, and you end up with a pizza crust that’s pretty much comparable to that of the best pizzerias of this world (Naples included).

Pizza was invented in Italy, popularized by Italian-Americans in New York City, and modernized by hip restaurants such as the California Pizza Kitchen. Personally I love any pizza, and would be just as happy with a sashimi pizza with wasabi, as with a classic margarita pizza, made with buffalo mozzarella, tomatoes and fresh basil.

But for those of you that are health conscience, a vegetarian pizza simply cannot be beat!

INGREDIENTS

MY FAVORITE SAUCE:

INSTRUCTIONS FOR MAKING THE SAUCE:

  1. To make the sauce, heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan placed over medium heat and then add the chopped onions, garlic and seasonings; cook until fragrant and the onions become translucent, 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add the pureeed tomatoes and bring to the boil then lower the heat and simmer, partly covered, for about 15-20 minutes, or until the sauce is thickened.

INSTRUCTIONS

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  1. Spread the sauce over your Rêver Artisan Bakery par-baked pizza crust.
  2. Sprinkle with freshly grated Mozzarella Cheese.
  3. Add the following toppings and bake as hot as your oven will allow you until the crust is golden brown and appears crunchy, and the cheese is fully melted and starts browning around the edges, about 8 to 10 minutes.

MY FAVORITE TOPPINGS:

Using a mandolin will be very helpful in slicing your toppings to the desired 20mm in thickness!

  • red onions
  • criminis
  • black olives
  • bell peppers
  • spinach
  • fresh basil
  • organic cherry tomatoes
  • chilies
  • broccoli, steamed
  • brussels sprouts, steamed
  • freshly grated parmesan/regiano

The best way to eat a pizza? Share it with those that you love!

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Terry Ramsey